Monthly Archives: April 2014

Ulnar Nerve Transposition – Recovery

On March 25th I had Ulnar Nerve Transposition surgery. I wrote about it, one handed mind, a few day after. (Wow, I just realized I posted that on April 1. No, that post was not an April Fools joke, but I digress.)

I hit the four week mark on Tuesday, April 22, and my recovery is ahead of schedule. My range of motion is at about 99% in my estimation. Fully straightening it is still accompanied with a bit of pain, but it’s not bad. Overall the incision has healed nicely, no infections, or other troubles.

The 'smile' cut

I love modern medicine. Surgery was on a Tuesday. I left the hospital with gigantic cast-like wrapping on my arm. I couldn’t move it, it was fixed in a 90 degree angle because your ulnar nerve likes that relaxed position and would allow the nerve to cool down. The first couple days were the most challenging, my nerve was not a happy camper, and I’ll be honest, at times I wanted to cut my hand off. By Friday I was feeling pretty darned good and visited the hand therapist for my first session.

Session One

I didn’t know what to expect on my first visit. I’d already gone through therapy with this group in an attempt to fix my issue without surgery. I couldn’t imagine doing nerve glides just yet. The arm was a bit too tender and swollen for that. Session one was all about getting the bulky wrapping off my arm and replacing it was a much lighter version I could remove if necessary. They even used a nice removable wrist brace because anything touching my hand could cause the nerve to go crazy. By using this removable brace I could seek relief when the nerve flared by removing the brace. It was quite nice. That was all for the first day.

The 'smile' cut

Session Two – Crumpling Paper

My second session was at the seven day mark. We took the brace off the arm and I received a massage just above my elbow on my triceps muscle, which was surprisingly nice. Then we moved on to some simple exercise to make sure scar tissue didn’t form around my newly relocated nerve and prevent it from moving properly. The first exercise was to move my arm downward from its 90 degree angle to 45 degrees and move my open palm left and right, without pain. The second exercise was to make sure my head was properly aligned over my shoulders and tilt it to the right, which pulls on the nerve from the other direction. Done for the day, sent home with homework to do these exercises throughout the day. Pain free movement was the operative word.

Crumple that paper!

One Week + One Day

At just over a week I visited the surgeon for a check-up. The doc removed the soft cast and said “Take that thing off, but wear it to bed.” So, that’s what I did. I was able to do some light typing after that, but couldn’t push too hard or I’d anger the nerves in my palm. It was really nice to have it off. Unfortunately I didn’t think to grab any pictures of the different cast setups.

Session Three and Beyond

By the end of my second week my arm was feeling really great. When we hit session three I was able to do all sorts of “advanced” stuff. I think you’d be surprised how much your ulnar nerve is isolated and used doing very simple things. I got to crumple paper, play with coins, use the rainbow arch, and rub my elbow in rice. Yes, rice, it’s a texture thing. The nerves around my elbow didn’t like to touch things after surgery. It was actually quite unpleasant when I rubbed up against something. Moving the rice around with my elbow allowed the area to become accustomed to being touched again. I was also instructed to rub the area throughout the day with various different textures to help with the process.

Playing with my food

I’ve been doing so well the therapists have decided to cut me lose until after the six week mark. At that point we’ll begin strengthening.

Coins and Puzzle

Lately, as in the last few days, I’ve experienced a sensation I’ve never experienced before. I’m not sure this has anything to do with the surgery, but I’ll run it by my doc. I’ve been getting a strange sensation at the base of my neck, then it spreads out and down both arms, almost like a cramp. My arms become very weak and I get sick to my stomach. It’s not a pleasant experience. Knowing my body it’s a stress thing, but I guess we’ll find out.

Rainbow Arc

Oh, One More Thing

I started this process in hopes I’d get feeling back in my left hand and fingers (pinkie and ring finger, and half of my palm.) That hasn’t happened, yet. According to the doc feeling may never return. It will take six months to a year to know for sure.

In the meantime I need to get back to writing software.

Peak iPad

Apple BasketM.G. Siegler: “As a standalone business, just based on the last 12 months of revenue, the iPad would be in the top 100 companies in the Fortune 500. Think about that for a second. The iPad alone is bigger than almost all Fortune 500 companies.

Boy, I wish I could have a disappointing product like that.

Heck, I’d love to have a disappointment that made enough to support a “Lifestyle Business.”

It’s interesting that Wall Street absolutely hates how Apple operates, yet Apple continues to give investors plenty of return on their investment, and they continue to do things The Apple Way.

No, Apple does not need to do what everyone else is doing. No, they shouldn’t listen to the industry “experts.” They should continue to do what they do. Apple doesn’t make revolutionary things, like people believe. The work they do is evolutionary. They go the extra distance. They polish the rough edges.

Think of it this way. Apple didn’t make the first portable music player or smart phone or tablet. They made them better. You don’t have to be first, you just have to make something magical. That’s the key, but it’s not easy to do.

Old Code Never Dies

CheezyPing still worksI happened across some old C++ code I wrote back in 2001. I decided to put it up on GitHub for kicks, might as well put some history up for future generations, right?

I was curious to see if I could build it. The original project was built with Visual Studio 6.0, circa 1998. I have a copy of Visual Studio 2010, so I fired it up pointed it at the original cp.dsw file and was pleasantly surprised it converted. I selected Build All and got a few warnings about some ATL include files I no longer needed, so I removed those. The only other thing that needs correcting are a few warnings related to use of older CRT string copy functions that are not secure. If you’ve upgraded a C or C++ project over the last few years you’ll be familiar with this warning:

warning C4996: '_tcsncpy': This function or variable may be unsafe. Consider using _tcsncpy_s instead. To disable deprecation, use _CRT_SECURE_NO_WARNINGS. See online help for details.

The code still builds and will execute, but if I were going to use it daily, I’d update it. For now, it’s OK, the code built. Maybe I’ll download a new copy of Visual Studio 2013, get it working with that, and check it in. It would be pretty nifty to create a Mac version by doing an implementation of the HttpIf interface using NSURL and NSURLConnection. This could be a GrilledCheese implementation. Hmmmmmm.

Anywho, once I got a build I hopped out to the command line, and ran it. I was surprised to see, it still works. Amazing.

Scum bag move, Instagram

Brian Hoff [Medium]: “But here’s the kicker: the new owner of the @kathleen username on Instagram is a current Facebook / Instagram employee. Yes, you read that correctly.”

This is something I think about from time to time. Losing my “Fahrni” account name on Twitter for some random reason. These services are FREE, right? Yes, which means most of them reserve the right to take your account name at any time, for any reason.

While I know they’re free and they can take them at any time, this move, by a Facebook or Instagram employee, is super scummy and you would think they would have policies in place to prevent this type of activity.

The Loop: The future of WordPress

The Loop: “Do something like Medium or Svbtle that doesn’t have the complicated backend and code. That’s what I want.”

Hello, Dr. Jones.I probably harp on this too much. I’ve been browsing around for a simplified weblogging tool, but WordPress is just too darned good to give up. I would, however, love to see a version of WordPress that would allow me to publish everything as static HTML. Decouple the composition from publishing, make them separate services. I compose a post, save it, when I click “Publish” the site is regenerated and pushed to my domain. That’s it. I would also be nice to have a quick and dirty post editor that doesn’t include all of the administrative functionality, think QuickPress in a standalone web app, or maybe a desktop app (that would be really nice.)

Make sure you read the linked article, The future of WordPress: “By incorporating a RESTful application programming interface (API), current WordPress apps could be supported, as well as mobile apps that use WordPress as a backend.”

This is how all sites, web app type sites, should be constructed. It’s all about services. Create a service, use the same service from the web app and mobile and anything else connected to the internet. Yes, yes, yes!

Rob’s 2014 Summer Blockbuster Must See List

It’s time to put together my annual Summer Blockbuster movie list. Here it is, enjoy.

Goodbye World April 4
Captain America: The Winter Soldier April 4
Jinn April 4
Joe April 11
Oculus April 11
Draft Day April 11
Antboy April 16
Transcendence April 18
The Machine April 25
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 May 2
Chef May 9
God’s Pocket May 9
Godzilla May 16
The Angriest Man in Brooklyn May 23
Blended May 23
Maleficent May 30
Edge of Tomorrow June 6
Borgman June 6
How to Train Your Dragon 2 June 13
The Purge: Anarchy June 20
Earth to Echo July 2
Planes: Fire & Rescue July 18
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes July 18
Hercules July 25
Jupiter Ascending July 25
Guardians of the Galaxy August 1
Lucy August 8
The Expendables 3 August 15
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For August 22

I thought this year was going to be a boring year for moves. Guess I was wrong.

The mini list for me includes: Godzilla, Edge of Tomorrow, Hercules, and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Prior years 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009.

Chris Dixon on the Mobile Web

Will write C/C++ for foodChris Dixon: “This is a worrisome trend for the web. Mobile is the future. What wins mobile, wins the Internet. Right now, apps are winning and the web is losing.

Emphasis is mine.

I don’t understand this school of thought. Most mobile apps use a web service. The web is not about a browser, it’s about the services on the web. A browser is just the lowest common denominator way to view a web service. Mobile apps are “winning” because the browser isn’t the best way to do the job on a mobile device.

I know it’s not a popular stance, but the browser has a long way to go. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are fine, but limiting. It will continue to mature.

On mobile we have native access to the device. We can whatever the platform allows, which is actually quite a lot. Interactions are just a lot nicer than they are in a mobile browser. We can handle everything locally then push the results into your favorite web service so you can get to it from other devices, including, but not limited to your web browser.

The browser isn’t the web. It’s one way to view the web.

WordPress on HHVM

Duct Tape, fixer of all things!
HHVM Blog: “As of WordPress 3.9, and HHVM 2.0 the following changes aren’t necessary as WP have updated their codebase to play nice with HHVM, and HHVM has updated itself to support more PHP stuff.”

I know it’s not in style to learn PHP, but it suits the old man C developer in me. I found myself reading about HHVM and Hack which lead me to think WordPress on HHVM might be kind of cool. One little Google search and what do you know, someone else had the same thought, and made it work. Not only did they make it work, but it looks like the HHVM and WordPress folks worked together to make it happen. Even better.

Maybe one of these days I’ll have time to get an HHVM based WordPress installation up an running.

Shocking, Wealthy Politicians Out of Touch

AHHHHHH!The Wire: “After all, if they think $170,000 is too low a salary to get by, or that half-a-million-dollars-a-year is a middle class salary — if they think, in other words, that the wealthy are actually middle class folks — then Congress has indeed done an excellent job in improving the lot of the middle class.”

I think joining the $500,000 a year Middle Class in America would be really awesome.

Talk about out of touch.