Friday, November 26, 2004

What a week!!!!

The blog has been quiet for a while, but I hope you will understand. Last week I was offered the webmaster duties of, a site I have been very interested in for the last year. While the domain name contains my doctor's last name, it is actually a site maintained my Ertl recipients and supporters. The previous webmaster has become very busy and offered to let me take the duties for a while. I was more than happy to jump at the chance. Spent the majority of my free time last week and the first part of this week making major revisions/additions to the site.

Earlier this week I got several pieces of good news ... all related to amputee issues:
  1. On Monday, my CP (certified prosthetist) asked me to go to Minneapolis with him ion January. He is going for some new training, and all the students are required to bring their own 'test subject'. It is unknown if I will get to 'walk away' with any new technology, but as long as I can help Jonathan out, I am more than willing to go. Won't really be a vacation, as we are going to get there late Wednesday, attend 16 hours worth of training on Thurs/Fri, then fly back Friday evening. Should be a rush trip, but I will get some time to get to know Jonathan better, in a better environment that we are normally in (clinic setting)
  2. Found out that the moderator of another major amputee website (Dan) has the same CP as Chad from Survivor ... and Dan is forwarding my contact info to Chad for contact about various items to discuss. This may not sound like much to most, but Chad is a major 'spokesperson' in the amputee world right now, and the chance to correspond with him is huge to me.
  3. ABC has a series on television called Extreme Makeovers. While I have never seen it, I understand it the purpose of it is to provide an extreme makeover (duh) including makeup, hair, clothing, etc for a few lucky people. This season they have decided to include an amputee in their lineup., with the makeover including a prosthetic leg. (No, I am not applying!). My doctor, Will Ertl, has provided the idea of having a truly 'extreme' makeover, including an Ertl Procedure amputation, for a person who is already needing it, but is lacking in the resources ($$$) to have it completed. If this happens, as webmaster of, I may get to have some part in the process. We'll just have to wait and see!

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Friday, November 19, 2004

ErtlRecon Website

I have been spending most of my free time working on the website. I have been really jazzed about the opportunity to work on this site and help advance the awareness of the Ertl Procedure. Check out the site to find out more info about it.
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Wednesday, November 17, 2004

This day in history

In 1970, a U.S. patent was issued for the computer mouse - an "X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System" (No. 3541541). The inventor was Doug Engelbart. In the lab, he and his colleagues had called it a "mouse," after its tail-like cable. The first mouse was a simple hollowed-out wooden block, with a single push button on top. Engelbart had designed this as a tool to select text, move it around, and otherwise manipulate it. It was a key element of his larger project - the NLS (oN Line System), a computer he and some colleagues at the Stanford Research Institute had built. The NLS also allowed two or more users to work on the same document from different workstations.
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If you are reading this...

You are either brand new to my blog, or you have found out that I changed my blog address from to
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Software review taking a break

Yep, it was a short run test, and it proved not to be as popular as I had hoped .... It might come back to the top of my priority at a later date
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Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Just a (really) quick note....

Yesterday I got to take over the reins of the website. I will post an announcement when my updates have been placed over-top of the current one.
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Thursday, November 11, 2004

WORLD WAR I ENDS: November 11, 1918

At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War ends. At 5 a.m. that morning, Germany, bereft of manpower and supplies and faced with imminent invasion, signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiýgne, France. The First World War left nine million soldiers dead and 21 million wounded, with Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, France, and Great Britain each losing nearly a million or more lives. In addition, at least five million civilians died from disease, starvation, or exposure.

    Interesting info found yesterday:
  • Of the 418,000 Canadian soldiers sent into World War One, over 60,000 were killed. There are only three WW1 veterans still alive.
  • More than 330,000 Australians served overseas in World War One. Of these, nearly 60,000 died. There are only four WW1 veterans still alive in Australia.
  • I couldn't find the numbers for American WW1 survivors, but it has to be pretty small as well.

1921 Dedication of the Tomb of the Unknowns
Exactly three years after the end of World War I, the Tomb of the Unknowns is dedicated at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia during an Armistice Day ceremony presided over by President Warren G. Harding.

Coincidentally, George S. Patton (one of the ablest American commanders in WWII) was born on this date in 1885. Patton studied at West Point and served as a tank officer in WWI.
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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Wednesday Software Review: HTTrack

Application title: HTTrack
Software type: Freeware
Use: It allows you to download a World Wide Web site from the Internet to a local directory, building recursively all directories, getting HTML, images, and other files from the server to your computer. HTTrack arranges the original site's relative link-structure. Simply open a page of the "mirrored" website in your browser, and you can browse the site from link to link, as if you were viewing it online. HTTrack can also update an existing mirrored site, and resume interrupted downloads. HTTrack is fully configurable, and has an integrated help system.
Ron's thoughts: I tend to do a lot of research via the web, but have a dial-up connection at home. When I find a useful site, I use HTTrack to bring it down to my laptop locally (using the high speed connection at the office), so I can review it quickly, without an internet connection. As soon as I am done with the site, I simply delete the folder that was created during the mirroring process.
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First computer virus

On this day in 1983, U.S. student Fred Cohen presented to a security seminar the results of his test - the first documented virus, created as an experiment in computer security. Cohen created this first virus when studying for a PhD at the University of Southern California. Others had written about the potential for creating pernicious programs but he was the first to demonstrate a working example. In the paper, he defined a virus as "a program that can 'infect' other programs by modifying them to include a ... version of itself". Cohen added his virus to a graphics program called VD, written for a Vax mini-computer. The virus hid inside VD and used the permissions users had to look at other parts of the Vax computer to spread around the system.
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Monday, November 08, 2004

Athlete's Tongue

Ever have one of those days when every time you opened your mouth, you ended up putting your foot in it? That has been me for the past day or two. I will either learn to stop, or get accustomed to that taste of shoe-leather.
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Thursday, November 04, 2004

Today in History: 1846

Artificial leg:
In 1846, the first U.S. patent for an artificial leg was granted to Benjamin F. Palmer of Meredith, New Hampshire (No. 4,834). The leg had a pliable joint that worked noiselessly and preserved its contour in all positions. It presented no openings in the exterior of the legs about the joints and contained tendons of gut and springs arranged in such a manner as to give more elasticity, stength, durability and freedom of motion than previously available. Artificial legs had been used previously: in 1837 one was exhibited by Howland & Co of Brookfield, Mass., at the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics Association.

11 months ago today: I had a surgery that made me thankful that Benjamin Palmer started what he did!
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Today in history: 1879

Will Rogers Born:
Beloved American actor and humorist Will Rogers is born in "Indian Territory" (now the state of Oklahoma). As a child, he excelled at riding and rope tricks, and as a young man he traveled abroad with a Wild West show. Later, he appeared at fairs and vaudeville shows, sprinkling his act with his gentle, folksy humor.

In 1912, Rogers began appearing in musical comedies, and by 1917 he was starring in the Ziegfeld Follies. His folk wisdom won the hearts of the nation. He appeared in a few early films, but silent movies failed to do justice to his verbal talents.

With the dawn of talking pictures in the late 1920s, Rogers became a top box-office draw. His films included Happy Days (1929), A Connecticut Yankee (1929), and Ambassador Bill (1931). In 1930, William S. Paley persuaded Rogers to try radio. Although Rogers was skeptical of the medium and disliked the microphone, his 12-episode show-full of his trademark humor and thoughtful political observations-was a hit. Later, he returned to radio, hosting Gulf Headliners in the early 1930s.

Rogers declined a nomination as governor of Oklahoma but later served as mayor of Beverly Hills. In 1935, Rogers died in a plane crash while flying in Alaska with aviation pioneer Wiley Post.
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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Attended an Amputee Support Group meeting yesterday on OKC

Like I mentioned in the software review entry, it's only Wednesday, but it feels like it has been a full week already. Rushed out of the office a few minutes early on Monday to vote, so we wouldn't have to fight the crowds when we were needing to get to OKC on Tuesday. What we were told was going to take an hour and a half took a total of 22 minutes. For once a productive government office ... who would have thought?

Got around Tuesday morning, gathering up all the items our girls would need while staying a friend's house, and started out for OKC. I had planned enough time for Renee and I to eat a nice lunch and still arrive at the meeting a few minutes early (those of you who know me understands that is like 30 minutes prior to the doors opening). Lunch was nice, and even provided somewhat of a floor show, as the gentlemen sitting behind us were more than happy to share their political views loud enough for everyone in our section to hear. I won't say who they voted for, but their opinions appeared to flip-flop during the 30 minutes we were near them. Even after a leisurely lunch, we still got to the conference room before it was even unlocked!

Fast Forward to the meeting .... it was more of a "come and go", "glad to meet ya" type meeting, in an attempt to get this group started. It was nice in the fact that I got to talk with my surgeon and CP (certified prosthetist) in a non-clinical setting, getting to know them better. All the people that attended were quite nice, and it seems like the group has potential ... if for nothing else than just to get additional ideas and stories to share as I help new amputees (that is something I am very active with, and hope to become more active!).

Sad note during the meeting: a younger couple (approx college age) came into the meeting, and I could tell that both were very sad, but neither were amputees (we weren't wearing signs, but in a small environment it isn't hard to tell, when you know what to look for). Upon speaking with my surgeon, he advised that this couple was here for support, as their four year old son had become an amputee the previous Friday (29 Oct), due to a farm implement accident. I didn't have a chance to speak with the couple any, but told my surgeon to pass on my info to them when/if they are ready to talk to someone. For all of you reading this, if you make prayer a daily habit, please lift this family up in your prayers, both the health and recovery of their son, but also for the strength they are going to need to get through this as a complete and functional family.

Good news: I may be getting some 'official' training in the area of peer-support certification. In other words, a national amputee association has a program to train and certify peer-mentors for helping others through the initial issues of an amputation ... something I have been doing already. With the certification, I would be able to make myself available to area hospitals for contact in case of an amputation issue. The certification lets the hospital(s) know I'm not a crack-pot trying to get in contact with patients. I'll provide more info as it happens.
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Wednesday Software Review: Postponed for a week

Even though this is only Wednesday, the week has already been hectic, and too busy for me to put a review together ... check back next week!
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Monday, November 01, 2004

The Dark Sucker Theory (not original, but I like it)

For years, it has been believed that electric bulbs emit light, but recent information has proved otherwise. Electric bulbs don't emit light; they suck dark. Thus, we call these bulbs Dark Suckers. The Dark Sucker Theory and the existence of dark suckers prove that dark has mass and is heavier than light.
First, the basis of the Dark Sucker Theory is that electric bulbs suck dark. For example, take the Dark Sucker in the room you are in. There is much less dark right next to it than there is elsewhere. The larger the Dark Sucker, the greater its capacity to suck dark. Dark Suckers in the parking lot have a much greater capacity to suck dark than the ones in this room.

So with all things, Dark Suckers don't last forever. Once they are full of dark, they can no longer suck. This is proven by the dark spot on a full Dark Sucker.

A candle is a primitive Dark Sucker. A new candle has a white wick. You can see that after the first use, the wick turns black, representing all the dark that has been sucked into it. If you put a pencil next to the wick of an operating candle, it will turn black. This is because it got in the way of the dark flowing into the candle. One of the disadvantages of these primitive Dark Suckers is their limited range.

There are also portable Dark Suckers. In these, the bulbs can't handle all the dark by themselves and must be aided by a Dark Storage Unit. When the Dark Storage Unit is full, it must be either emptied or replaced before the portable Dark Sucker can operate again.

Dark has mass. When dark goes into a Dark Sucker, friction from the mass generates heat. Thus, it is not wise to touch an operating Dark Sucker. Candles present a special problem as the mass must travel into a solid wick instead of through clear glass. This generates a great amount of heat and therefore it's not wise to touch an operating candle.

Also, dark is heavier than light. If you were to swim just below the surface of the lake, you would see a lot of light. If you were to slowly swim deeper and deeper, you would notice it getting darker and darker. When you get really deep, you would be in total darkness. This is because the heavier dark sinks to the bottom of the lake and the lighter light floats at the top. The is why it is called light.

Finally, we must prove that dark is faster than light. If you were to stand in a lit room in front of a closed, dark closet, and slowly opened the closet door, you would see the light slowly enter the closet. But since dark is so fast, you would not be able to see the dark leave the closet.

Next time you see an electric bulb, remember that it is a Dark Sucker.

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