14 Years

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Later this month will mark 14 years since I was diagnosed with Cancer. A lot has changed, yet so much has remained the same. They pulled me out of work a week after diagnosis and I haven’t been able to return since. Chemotherapy wasn’t that hard while I was having it, but in between treatments it made me so sick in the later parts of it. Just after chemo, I managed to fall and hurt my back. A few years later I went to spinal therapy and managed to repair my lower back but the problems with the middle of my back can not be fixed so I’m stuck the way I am. Initially, the boredom got to me so bad I decided to return to online college to give me something to do and my dumb ass decided to work on two associate’s degrees at the same time. I managed to obtain my degrees but at a great cost with student debt and another matter that brings my degrees into question. A few years after I completed, the college I went to got itself into some trouble and had to close down. There were rumors that the entire place was a scam and not accredited so I’m unsure if my degrees are even worth the paper they are printed on, all while still owing the shit ton of student loans. The college was originally bought out by a competitor and closed down shortly after the rumors started.

Fast forward a few uneventful years and things hadn’t changed much. I was put in touch with what I thought originally was a group therapy type place to help with my depression, but turned out to be so much more. I’ve made many friends there and it gave me something to do with my days. This all changed in 2020 due to the pandemic but I’m still in contact with people and making the best of a bad situation. Speaking of 2020, amidst the problems I started physical therapy for my bad again, and for three months would go twice a week. Not only did it help with the pain and movement, but it also taught me how to continue on my own and work at my flexibility so I can now do things I haven’t been able to do in a decade. I wish my insurance would have paid for a bit longer, but I got about as much as I could from it and I can’t complain about the progress I made.

The pandemic has made everything kind of blur together even more than they used to and it’s hard to judge time anymore. My physical therapy ended just before the summer and things went back to normal boredom. No group, no therapy, no college, nothing to do and nowhere to go. I’m not really going to go into the pandemic or anything about it since enough people, more important than me, have already said everything. I will say, I’m one of the people that believe in wearing a mask, keep your social distance, and listen to the fucking doctors and scientists. There are still people out there that think it’s a hoax or a government plan of some kind and sadly, no matter how much truth, science, explanations you give them, there is no changing their mind.

I guess the last thing I’ll talk about for now is that I had a milestone birthday a couple of months ago, but due to Covid I couldn’t really celebrate so now that a vaccine is becoming available I think I may have a ‘do-over’ this summer and plan something for then. Most of my friends from high school are about the same age, so a good handful had the same milestone during the pandemic and maybe we can get together this year.

Category: Misc.

Long Ass Year

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So much, yet so little has happened this year. The days, weeks, months have all kind of blurred together and it’s hard to remember the order of things that happened.

I can’t wait for this year to be over.

Category: Misc.

Time Flies

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I keep saying it but never doing it… I have to update this blog more often. A lot has changed since the last update.

As I said in December, I’ve changed hosting companies and so far, so good. They’ve been so much better than the last company and on the rare occasion I have had any issues, they are very helpful in helping me make changes or explaining what is going on so I can fix it myself or understand if it’s something that doesn’t need fixing.

Since then I started physical therapy for my back and my right leg and just finished earlier this week. With the pandemic and how restrictive everything is, I kind of wish therapy would continue because it gives me something to do with my life instead of staying at home with nothing that seems to be the norm for most people. It seems that my insurance wouldn’t pay for more than three months, so on my final appointment, they gave me instructions on how I can continue myself and keep getting better. Another milestone I’ve hit is that as long as my primary care doctor can prescribe certain medications I no longer have to go to mental health to deal with my bipolar and can keep everything in one place which is nice. I’ve never really been fond of the doctor that prescribes my meds for it and I’m not going into that here, but it’s satisfying knowing I won’t have to deal with her anymore and can get the care I need from my PC doctor.

I learned a long time ago to stop promising updates to this blog or making references to ‘when’ I’ll post things since that almost never ends up as planned, but I hope that I’ll be posting more, I’m going to try for at least once a month, maybe more, but a lot of the time I don’t have anything important to say or the things I want to talk about shouldn’t really be posted in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not conceded enough to think I have a large audience or that I’m somehow special enough to warrant anybody reading this anyway, but I do understand the fact that I do have a few readers that read these and know me well enough in person to have a clue who I’m talking about or whatever. You get the idea, don’t bitch about people when mutual friends would easily find out. 🙂

Category: Uncategorized

14 1/2 years…

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After 14 years and 5 months, I’ve finally decided to change Webhosting companies. This doesn’t mean I’ll post more because let’s be honest, I’ll probably still forget about it most of the time… but it does mean that if I do remember, it’ll be easier.

That being said, I don’t want to say anything bad about the old hosts, but over the years they have had so many issues with sporadic downtime, email servers going on the blink for a couple of hours here and there, etc. This on its own wouldn’t have been enough to push me away and I totally understand the occasional problems with hard drives, os updates, etc. but when you have a 99.9% uptime guarantee that essentially boils down to personal views on what 99.9% is since you can complain and they’ll fix the problems (when they can) but they doesn’t compensate for downtime.

Anyway, I may post a bit more about the changeover and the new company later (including possible discounts or special offers for new customers), but I want/need to set up my other subdomains and everything else while waiting on DNS propagation.

Category: Uncategorized

Months gone by…

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It’s been months since I’ve made a post and I keep telling myself that I have to get better and post more, yet every time I think about it, I just think “yeah, I’ll do it later” or that I don’t have anything worth talking about at that moment.

Well, here we are again and I don’t really have much to say of importance, but I guess I can think of something. Tomorrow’s doctor appointment I get to find out who they are transferring me to this time (this will be the fourth doctor that they have given me and each time we practically start from scratch). On the bright side, they adjusted my medication a few months back and it’s finally leveled out to the point that I’m doing far better than I have for the last couple years. I just wish they could do something about my back, or even just my leg.

Oh, I’m going to be writing some tutorials near the end of the month (basic ‘how-to’ computer stuff) in partnership with a site, so if you have any suggestions for topics let me know. To give you an idea of things I’m looking for, “How to defragment your hard drive”, “How to join/leave Microsoft’s Windows Insiders program”, “How to join/leave Apple’s Beta program for macOS or iOS (Public or Developer)”… stuff like that.

In the meantime, I finally finished moving around 10TB of data over the last week, so I’m going to binge watch some tv shows and stop looking at a computer screen for awhile.

Category: Misc.

Space saving Apple/iOS tip.

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With the upcoming public release of iOS 11 next Tuesday (Sept. 19) I figured I’d give you guys a tip to help you save a bunch of space on your computer(s).

Using this tip, I managed to save over 230GB on my main system and another 190GB on my laptop [a combined 424.76GB], but these results aren’t ‘typical’ and you’ll probably have smaller savings, but it can still be worth it.

The requirements are easy, at least one iPhone or iPad where you used iTunes on a computer to help manage your apps and/or games. If you’ve never used iTunes for this, just skip this post.

Here are some small caveats that you need to be aware of to save space:

  • You must be using iTunes 12.7 or newer [Download]
  • If ALL of your iDevices are running iOS11 or above, see Section 1
  • If one or more iPhone or iPad is on iOS10 or below, see Section 2

[Common Info]
With the latest version of iTunes that Apple released (12.7), they are moving away from forced desktop management of your iOS devices by removing the iOS AppStore and other features from iTunes. You can still download old apps/games directly on your device with no problems. If you are on a lower version of iTunes do NOT follow the directions below until after you upgrade.

If your copy of iTunes is installed in the default location, you can find the relevant directory as follows:

Windows 7 and up:
C:\Users\USERNAME\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media
Home > Music > iTunes > iTunes Media

[Section 1]
If all of your devices are on iOS 11, you can go to the iTunes Library location above and delete the “Mobile Applications” folder. This folder holds all of the apps and games that were downloaded via iTunes (or transferred from your device) in the form of *.ipa files. As stated above, you can no longer manage these via iTunes anyway and they are available to download directly on your device.

[Section 2]
If one or more of your devices are still on iOS 10 or below, you have to take into account if you have any old apps or games that are no longer available via the AppStore [Example: an old Tetris ripoff that got removed]. This probably doesn’t apply to many of my readers, but obviously, if you have some of these you’ll want to make a backup copy of them before you delete the folder (or just delete the *.ipa files in the folder that aren’t associated with these apps/games). iOS 11 stops all support for 32bit apps/games which is why in Section 1 I don’t bother to have you check for this since they wouldn’t be able to be loaded back to the device anyway.
No Removed Programs
You can safely delete the “Mobile Applications” folder as explained in Section 1
Programs you want/need to keep
After making backups of these, you can reload them to your device as needed by going into iTunes, click the little image of your device near the top, then you just drag the *.ipa file over your device listed in the left pane of the window.

Well, I hope that helps you save some space and if you have any questions about this, just message me and I’ll try my best to help or update this post with more information.

Category: Misc.

Surgeries, Relay for Life, other things…

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As mentioned in the last post, I had a consult with a doctor (April 22nd) for a series of surgeries that were long overdue. It took awhile for my insurance to give authorization, but I had the first surgery on June 3rd and everything went well. They knocked me out for it, so other than some swelling, there wasn’t too much pain. After which, they scheduled my second surgery for July 20th (later today) but thankfully there was a cancellation back on July 1st so I had the second surgery at that point and there was a lot more pain this time around since they didn’t knock me out and had to cut the bone in a few places. I still have to deal with them at least one more time before they’re done, but thankfully all of the surgeries should be done. There is a possibility that the second surgery was done improperly (the way they cut the bone) and I have to see another doctor and a lawyer to see if they deem it malpractice or if it’s just a case of ‘well, it wasn’t what we expected, but we technically didn’t do anything wrong’. The biggest problem I’ve had the last month and a half is the antibiotics they gave me after each surgery has severe side effects with my other medications, so I had to cut them cold turkey to take the other. I finished them the first time around and got back on my normal meds thinking it wasn’t that bad cause I had over a month before I had to do it again, but it ended up being maybe a week back on the meds before having to switch again. Anyway, that’s over with and I’ve been back on my normal meds for a little over a week now and I’m starting to feel better again but still have the occasional pain (which is nowhere near as bad as the back pain I usually have, so it’s not too bad). Next up, I have a few other things I want to ‘fix’ about myself but will probably prioritize my foot.

Oh, and because of my diet change due to the surgeries, I’ve lost pretty much all the weight gain I had with the other medication (which they switched to a different kind if I didn’t mention that already).

Is it considered a gadget if it’s headlights for your car? I had an issue a month or so back with the passenger side light going out because of the wiring and now it’s the driver side, so I found a set of factory replacements (entire assembly) on Amazon that will arrive next week. I guess there’s no night driving until then because I don’t want to get pulled over a second time since I probably won’t be as lucky and get a ticket.
As far as real gadgets, I’m still looking for a used Mac for sale (has to be able to run Yosemite) so I can get back to writing iOS apps. I’m guessing the Mac Mini would be the most cost effective, but can’t really afford to spend money on a system right now. If someone has a Mac that runs Yosemite but doesn’t want to sell it, maybe we can work out a deal allowing me either remote or direct access to the system to allow the Objective-C compiling. (They have to allow me to install XCode and have admin access to it.)

As briefly mentioned above, I’ve been writing iOS apps in Objective-C but currently have no way of compiling the code to really test. I am however getting back to writing the framework I mentioned in the last post after about 2 months of inactivity (mainly due to the surgery and not being able to concentrate). I’m going to push the branch probably this weekend with the Template Engine, a few other helper classes, and the base skeleton view system after I write some documentation about the progress and usage. I have however lost a lot of interest lately in the HTPC community (which is the main point of the framework) so progress will be slowed or the framework itself may be repurposed for some other use.

*Relay for Life*
I wrote it in the title and forgot to write it in the post, but this year’s Relay for Life was last Friday and sadly I forgot and missed it. That makes 2 medals I’m missing from the last 8 years. Makes me wonder if there’s a way I can get the ones I’m missing so I have the full set. I was in Chemotherapy when the Relay happened in 2007, so 2008 was the first time I went. I’d have to check, but I believe 2010 is the other medal I’m missing.

Category: Misc. | Tags: , ,

New framework, more surgery, other stuff

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A short one for a change… Told you she’d make me update more often. 🙂

I’m resurrecting the htpcPortal project and creating an entire framework around it, which can be found on my GitHub (listed as framework). For now, there’s just the initial config related stuff and the next part I’m working on will be the template system. I’ll talk about this a bit more and possibly do screen shots once I get farther along the project.

I think the medication I’ve been on for a couple months now has more ‘side effects’ than I was originally told about. The biggest one (other than weight gain) is the renewed sense of self… which is why I had the LASIK surgery just over two weeks ago and I’m scheduled for a consult with a surgeon on the 22nd for a different surgery that is long over due. I might talk about it more afterwards.

I’m going to be going on a ‘mini-vacation’ for the first time in years the beginning of May. Not exactly sure what I’m doing on the trip, but I’ll be in Pennsylvania for about 5 days with a friend while they visit family and I get to escape from reality while meeting new people.

Category: Misc.

LASIK update

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*What I’m Watching or Listening to Now*
Criminal Minds marathon

I had the LASIK surgery last week and went from 20/400 to 20/20 vision and couldn’t be happier. It’s weird because I still get the urge to reach for my glasses or adjust them when I’m not even wearing them. I guess that’s what wearing glasses for around 20 years will do.

Category: Misc.

LASIK, Mental Illness, and other Non Related topics

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*What I’m Watching or Listening to Now*
Random Marathon on TV of some show I’m not really interested in.
*Random Question* OR *Random Quote*
Why is there still such a stigma against people with ANY form(s) of mental illness?

*Dates*B = Birthday; E = Event; W = Weekend; X = Closed

Holiday/Event Date Notes Marker
St. Patrick’s Day March 17 X
Purim March 24 JewFaq.org info about Purim E

*Eye Sight*
Earlier today I had an eye exam at the LASIK Vision Institute in Albany, NY and qualified for the surgery which I will be having next week. I can’t wait to be rid of these glasses and be able to see properly again. Ideally I’d be getting 20/20 vision, but hell, if they can just give me 50% better than what I have now I’ll call it a success (at least partially).

*Mental Health*
Out of nowhere I got an email today from someone from “Advocates For Health” and I’m not disputing it’s a legit email but it’s kind of strange that the woman mention it was in regards to a post that I wrote back in 2011. The email thanked me for mentioning Alzheimer’s and bringing attention to mental illness, which got me thinking. I skimmed over my old post and read her email a few times and realized it’s nice to have acknowledgement for raising awareness, but didn’t feel I really deserved it since I didn’t really follow-up on that topic so I decided to do it here, now. I was originally talking about “Chemo Fog”, which for people who don’t know, it’s common during Chemotherapy to either have temporary short-term memory loss (or just ‘overt forgetfulness’) and occasional long-term memory loss. However, in most people this condition usually resolves itself within 6 months of finishing Chemo, but in my case, not only will I probably never get those memories back, but I have an ongoing issue with both short-term and long-term memory. Now, here’s where I brought up Alzheimer since my memory condition is attributed to “Early Onset Alzheimer’s” and I have my good days and my bad. Over the last 5 years since I made that post I’ve written about my memory, my leg, my spine, and other numerous problems I have. I’ve had times when I’m talking to family or friends and I have gaps in my memory that span years now and I’ve been told it’ll only get worse. Tack on my depression and the other new medical issues brings a more heartfelt cringe to the phrase ‘same shit, different day’.

Anyway, in the email mentioned above, they wanted me to point readers to Sunrise House: (Quoted from email)

This page summarizes available governmental, organizational and other resources and makes them easily accessible to those searching for assistance. It includes dozens of the latest studies and external resources for the mentally disabled seeking assistance. We hope that the quality of this page and the importance of the subject matter merits inclusion on your page alongside the other resources you have provided – or elsewhere on your website.

I know my audience isn’t that big on this blog, but I would recommend anyone that even thinks they may be suffering of mental illness or know a family member/friend that might, you should read the site. I’ll admit, I haven’t read the whole site yet since my eyes are still a little fuzzy from the eye exam earlier. My eyes aren’t dilated anymore, but everything is still kind of bright.

I’m going to write her back tomorrow since it’s just after midnight and I need to take my medication, but I’d be interested in possibly working with them to help spread more awareness.

I’ve been travelling all over the state it seems lately and it feels good to get out, helps the depression a bit as well.

I’m going to talk to a friend of mine and hopefully talk her into bugging me enough that I post at least once a month or even weekly.

Category: Misc.