Monday, September 27, 2010

MRI fun (shoulder)

I tore up my right shoulder earlier in the year and it finally got bad enough a couple of months ago to go visit the VA orthopedics team.

My reading suggests rotator cuff.

Scheduled for an MRI on Sunday and got it done. I was surprised at how loud it was and how long it took. The tomb-like nature of the thing didn't bother me; I fell asleep a couple of times during the imaging.

When requesting the MRI, the Ortho said he'd call ASAP if there was an emergency, otherwise we'd talk about at a followup a coupla months into the future.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tasker for Android

[This post is derived from an email I sent a friend who has an extraordinarily nimble technical mind. "Normals" can read along, too.]

If you haven't looked at Tasker, check it out. It's priced in Pounds; when I pulled the trigger the exchange rate made it ~$5.

Basically tasker it's a macro system that can automate most functionality of the [Android] phone. When any given macro exits the phone settings are reset to their original values unless you specifiy otherwise.

Examples from my own usage:

Silence during meetings: watch the Google calendar. When starting an appointment marked "Busy", turn phone to silent mode.

wifi battery conservation: even when wifi is turned off, scan briefly every X mins to check if near a specified wifi access point. If nearby, turn on wifi, connect, and turn on auto-sync. Disconnect when leaving the area.

Same for celltowers, gps, etc. Name your poison.

This may be particularly important for folks that are too cheap frugal to have an unlimited dataplan.

To give you an idea how clever this stuff is: if you pick more than one location type Tasker starts with the lowest-power-consuming one. For example, a celltower + WAP requirement would use celltower first for a power-inexpensive sanity check to see if you are in the general
area, and only then trigger the battery-hogging wifi for fine-grained checks. So if you never get within celltower visibilty of the target the wifi check is never activated. Good stuff, Maynard.

Find missing phone: when receiving an SMS from a given number with a given string as the
message, turn on GPS, get a lock, and SMS back the coords, battery level, etc. This functionality is $99/yr for iPose users.

Podcast listening: when I connect with one of my named BT headsets it brings up an app that streams normal audio over BT. When I connect with a different, A2DP-enabled earpiece it dooesn't run that app because a2dp handles that duty.

Night mode: turn off wifi, bluetooth, and phone between 1-5am since I'm not going to answer
it anyway. Saves battery if I forget to cable it up for the night.

Power conservation: when on power cord turn on all the power-expensive toys you want;
bright screen, gps, wifi, 3g, whatever. Or maybe only turn them on
when the batt is fully charged, so you get fastest charge possible and then get the fun stuff.

Low battery: when below 20% battery, disable 3G and autosync, disable wifi+GPS,
turn screen to minimum, say the arbitrary words "arrrrghhhh, low on
battery!" or play a particular sound or whatever.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Denouncement. Subset == quaran burning preacher

I denounce distasteful, provocative hate speech like that of the Terry Jones. Burning anyone's scripture is a bad idea.

On a personal level it's rude.

On a national level we would be better served to ally ourselves with moderates of ALL faiths in order to strip mindshare from extremists (including Terry Jones).

Denouncement. Subset == motorcycle stunters

As a licensed motorcycle rider I denounce the idiots that endanger themselves and others on public roads.

The motorcycle community has a derisive term for this kind of rolling Darwin award winners: 'squids'.

Rent a track or a parking lot, Mensa boy.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Backyard Chickens at Dallas Green Festival

I noted over on MBTRT that the Dallas Green Fest is happening on Sept 18th.

I bring it up here on my personal blog because there will be a backyard chickens booth (display, information, chicken-ranching [sub]urbanites) there. It will be organized by Dan Probst of Bageniece Farms in Quinlan, Tx.

Dan himself will be splitting his time between the DGF and another event across town at North Haven Gardens:

11AM - 2PM • Backyard Chicken Sale Buy juvenile hens & ducks for your backyard flock
2PM • "Winterize" Your Backyard Hens by Dan Probst, Bageniece Farms. Keep your backyard flock safe this winter from the elements with expert tips from Dan Probst.

This means the folks manning the Festival booth will be more like neighbors than experts. This should be a comfortable, friendly way to see some breeds and talk to folks that keep backyard microflocks.

If you do see Dan at either place be sure to introduce yourself. He's a friendly guy and the hardest working guy in the DFW chicken business. There's a pic of him on the right in this picture so you know who to look for.