Teaching an old dog new tricks.

March 30th, 2015

Holy shit, two in a row, I must have a fever!  Ok, not really.

I use mac-minis for my “home theaters”.  I have one in the living room, and one in the basement “play room”.  I use to, long time ago, use a hacked Xbox.  I ran XBMC on it, then HD became more prevalent and the Xbox couldn’t handle it, so I purchased my first mac mini.  I also started using NFS to mount external drives to the mac as my media drives to watch TVs/movies, etc.

Well, on reboot, unless you have it set up to auto mount the NFS drives, you have to manually mount them every time either the NFS server goes off line, the mac mini goes off line, etc.

The old way you use to auto mount NFS drives is via Disk Utility.  You’d put in your mount information and every time the box rebooted the NFS shares would re-mount for you, and then you’d also have your XBMC ( now Kodi ) auto start as well, and basically when you changed your TV Input to there, you have your XBMC screen and you can get right in to watching your show.

Around 10.8 or so of OS X ( OS Ten, not X by the way ) they removed the option for NFS auto mounting via Disk Utility.  Now, while OS X is built off of a *nix variant, you do have things such as /etc/auto_home, /etc/autofs, /etc/fstab, I really didn’t want to mess with them and potentially cause issues.  Plus the /Volumes directory is the automatic mounted directory, it’s what I already had my mount points set to in XBMC/Kodi, and while trivial to change, let’s be real, I’m super lazy.

So, I went with what most procrastinators do, I only dealt with it when it popped it’s head up.  Meaning I go in to XBMC/Kodi and I see that the volume isn’t mounted.  I’d pop open Remote Desktop, hit cmd-space, select Finder, hit cmd-k and go through a quick return, cmd-k, down arrow, quick return, then a cmd-tab to get back in to XBMC/Kodi…and I did this for a couple of years, because it’s just too much of an issue to figure out NFS for mac.

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Three Years Out

March 28th, 2015

It’s been approximately three years since I’d been diagnosed with Head and Neck Cancer, or Squamos Cell Carcinoma due to HPV of the head and neck. I had one of many follow-ups with my ENT a couple weeks ago and we’re now going to move on to a four month check up schedule instead of a three month schedule. Likewise, I had my blood and radiation oncologist visits back in September, and we’re now on a yearly check-up rate with them.

How have things been?

Good question, that’s the problem with memory, most people don’t tend to think about things, even when they’re in the forefront, such as how things taste. After I was able to eat again some things didn’t taste right. For instance, candy tasted horrible, very fake. Which isn’t a big shocker if anyone has looked at the ingredients of candy lately. However, like with most things, eventually that weird taste went away, or maybe I started to accept it for the taste that it was, I dunno.

Likewise, the taste of alcohol. I have several nice bottles of bourbon/whiskey/whisky/scotch that I can’t really enjoy any more. However, some things, like Louis XIII de Rémy Martin are quite enjoyable. I also really enjoy the taste of IPAs over other types of beers as well. Although Guinness is still good in my book too.

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Special Snow Flakes

October 13th, 2014

I’m not quite sure what it is with drivers. I, personally, don’t think people have the realization that when they get behind the wheel of a car they’re in a ton and a half killing machine. I know I don’t think of it sometimes that way too, so I’m not immune. But I always try really really hard to pay attention.

However, my problem has been around more the parts of people yielding when there’s no yield and stopping when there’s no stop sign. Yet, they’ll go when there’s a yield and go when there’s a stop sign. It’s very frustrating.

Couple cases in point. If there’s a right turn lane, and a little island like thing between the right turn lane and the go straight lane, please look to see if there’s a yield sign. If there isn’t, do a quick check to see that you have a lane to accelerate in. Chances are good, if I’m behind you and you come to a stop when there’s no yield sign, you’re getting a horn blast. And don’t look at me like it’s my fault, you’re not a special snow flake, pay attention to the road.

Likewise, if you’re coming up to an intersection, and you don’t see a stop sign, look for signage that states whether other people stop as well. There are such things as three way stops with one direction of traffic not having to stop. Yes, this does in fact present some problems, as in other people may not be aware, because they’re special snow flakes too, and think you have to stop; because they in turn didn’t read the signage below the stop that said “3-way Stop” “Incoming traffic does not stop” ( Seen at multiple malls ), so they may go as well. So be weary, but for the love of all that’s right, don’t stop when you don’t have to.

Also, one of the other things people seem to be completely oblivious on, four way stop etiquette as well as what happens when you come to an intersection where the lights are out ( *SPOILER ALERT* It’s a four way stop ).

New York Islanders vs Washington Captials Nov. 5th, 2013

November 8th, 2013
Ovechkin during warmups.Ovechkin during warmups.Ovechkin during warmups.Ovechkin during warmups.Mike Green during warmups.Camera Man watching Joe B and Laughlin
Laich WarmupsBrouwer Rangers and BobbleheadsBrouwer and Green FansSign for Chimera's third star the past week.1st Puck DropRight after face off
Pic of The GoatNice wide shot of the Capitals Bench.Islanders Score FirstMore camera man workWard for the puckJohansson on faceoff
Ovechkin makes a break for the goal.End of Period 1Local Mighty Mites Taking the Ice.Ovechkin scores, but no picture of Ovechkin.Wilson driving to the net.Urbom's shot goes in.

New York Islanders vs Washington Captials Nov. 5th, 2013, a set on Flickr.

There are a couple of take aways about Photography. One is I’m always learning, by no means a master, much less a journeyman. I’m barely a lowly apprentice, still learning the trade. From which lens to use, to what my settings should be, from picking pictures to post processing.

I decided to go with the wife’s 1DX body instead of the 5DIII, mainly because I knew at some point I was going to want to use the machine gun option on the 1D that isn’t really available with the 5D.

I also brought along two lenses. The Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender, as well as the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens. I couldn’t get my mono pod through security, even though I scoured the website to see if it wasn’t allowed. The 200-400 is a pretty beastly lens, and really needs to have that monopod support. However, my knee/leg did pretty well.

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Mild mannered account manager by day, sexy mad scientist by night!

August 12th, 2013

Got a new camera over the weekend…went to Ace for a quick part, they didn’t have the part … so I bought the camera to fit the part they did have…stupid I know, but what the hell.

Anyway, I took a couple pics of the day lilies the wife has in the front yard as my first couple of shots with the new camera.

I decided to do something fun with it today. In no way are these meant to be professionally shot…in fact I had everything set to auto, b/c I didn’t want to futz with it, and I was doing this just for some fun. Anyway, my mad scientist came out and my cloning technique that I’ve been perfecting in my laboratory ( Dexteresque – luh-bor-uh-tuh-ree ) has come to fruition!


Felinus Multiplisitus

* No cats were harmed during this production, only annoyed more than normal.

Old … so old.

May 31st, 2013

ug, if it’s not my shoulder, it’s my back … get a little bit of cancer and your body goes to shit…damnit i’m old.

Hockey is back! Bear Toss last year.

January 19th, 2013

In preparation for todays games, here in the next 45 minutes, Hockey is back!  While not exactly happy with the owners, the players aren’t without fault entirely, but definitely more so the owners.

Whether this will hurt hockey in the long run, it’s hard to tell, all I know is I’m ready to “Rock the Red!”

Here’s a picture I took back on December 1st when the wife and I decided that during the lock-out we’d go watch an AHL game, it was the Bears vs the Norfolk Admirals.  The Bears lost, 1-5, which sucked.  However, a bright point during the night is that it was bear toss night, what happened is when the Bears scored their first goal, everyone has these stuffed bears that they brought to the game, and then they throw it out on the ice, much like a hat trick where when a player scores three goals in a night you throw your hat on the ice.  Unlike throwing your hat on the ice, you don’t get your bear back.

Anyway, this is the picture I took after about 15 or so minutes when cleanup started.  They kept cleaning up for another 10 to 15 minutes.

Hershey Bears - Bear Toss Night

No Cancer … for now!

September 14th, 2012

I had a follow-up PET CT scan done around the 6th of September.  I got back the results the other day, and have since gone to the doctors for their professional opinion on the results.  However, I’m sort of a bright guy … on occasion, and the part that sticks out the most is where it mentions that there is no hyper metabolic imagery from the scan.  So, at this point in time, there is no more cancer!

I’m currently set up to have a follow up PET CT in six months, so March time frame.  I think this goes on for a couple of years ( every six months ), then it moves out to a yearly check-up.  So, for now, everything is going quite well!

Post week 7

August 15th, 2012

Wow, has it been seven weeks already.  That’s how many days ( 35 )/weeks ( 7 ) I had of radiation.

So, how am I doing?  I’m doing pretty good.  As far as physical things I’m still having issues with lack of saliva creation is a big one.  My taste is pretty much back, I’d say it’s in the 85 to 95 percent range.  Some things still taste weird, but most things are back to the way they were.

I also have this issue with little blisters in my mouth.  Early on, a few weeks ago, they were in the front of my mouth/roof of my mouth, they’d only appear right after eating/swallowing something.  So, I don’t know if the veins are just weak or what.  Anyway, at this point, these are happening farther back in my mouth, around where my uvula is.  They’re only there for a couple of hours then they go away.  It’s been a bit of a persistent issue, but something I can overlook.

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Post week 4

July 26th, 2012

Didn’t do a post week 3 because I was on vacation, and while I had my computer or other means to update, I really didn’t feel like it.

So, I’m four weeks out now, what’s going on?

I may have mentioned, when I spoke with my hemo oncologist he had mentioned that what I need to do is start eating in the morning, something easy, like apple sauce, or a fruit cup, etc.  Something that just gets me started in to eating again, after not having eaten in about four to five weeks, if not six.  So that was my plan.  Through most of vacation, I’d say, I tried ordering food from the different places we went to, with limited success.  I kept trying though, and over vacation I learned that mustard no longer burned my mouth *YAY!* likewise, I found out that I could taste peanut butter *OMG I CAN TASTE SOMETHING!*  Not only could I taste peanut butter, but the taste didn’t disappear after the first bite/mouthful.

Up to this point, in week three, usually what the taste was really just a “hint” of taste, and the hint of taste was located on the sides of my tongue, not the full mouth flavor/taste that you’d normally get, and eve then the second bite usually the taste disappeared.

Towards the end of vacation and moving in to the weekend my taste buds started to improve, I also started eating more via mouth than via my tube.  Then Sunday came along and I ended up eating the entire day via mouth and it was at that point where I decided that that was it, no more tube feeding.  So far my weight has remained about the same, it’s important not to lose weight at this point of treatment/recovery.

I just finished, for lunch, something that I wasn’t able to finish due to lack of taste a month and a half ago, so that’s a good sign too.  I think I’m definitely improving/improved, and probably close to off the charts from where the doctors expect someone to be, I’ll have to see here in a week when I go back in for my next hemo oncologist checkup.

About the only things I can think of that I really need to do is, try to exercise – not really a cancer related item, but I did stop after a bit when treatment started due to fatigue; saliva – still an issue, doesn’t feel like it’s where it was before treatment; taste – it appears to be improving every day, and I just need to keep trying new things as I found out a few days ago when I found out that Ritz crackers taste just like they’ve always tasted!