We landed safe and sound at Orlando Sanford Int'l airport this afternoon around 3:45 PM EDT.

I wore a Packers t-shirt and took no end of ribbing as we went through the Rockford airport and again when we arrived in Orlando.


This image was created using Motivator from fd's flickr toys. Check it out, it's a lot of fun.


[Update] Dad is home

Gave Mom and Dad's house phone a call this evening and Dad answered. I guess that means he's home. ;)

They had a neighbor couple over who had brought them dinner.

LibriVox.com - Free Audiobooks of material in the public domain

LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain, and then we release the audio files back onto the net (podcast and catalog). Our objective is to make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the internet. We are a totally volunteer, open source, free content, public domain project.

This is a great idea and limited by licensing and volunteers. Some interesting poetry and books available in the LibriVox Catalog.


[Update] Dad called this morning..

I received a phone call this morning. He just called to see how everyone was doing. He's been out walking. He won't be coming to pick us up from the airport on Thursday but, that's not the end of the world.

He is slated to be released tomorrow and sounded like himself on the phone.


[Update] "It's just a nappy day" on the way to recovery

Dad is out of the Intensive Care Unit, early this morning they rolled him into room #424 of the cardiac care wing of Munroe Regional Medical Center (Ocala, FL). This is the last address he will hold at the hospital before being released early next week.

Mom sounded tired when I called. Dad has been dozing in and out most of the day and is definitely feeling like he had open heart surgery. The process included cutting the breast bone, taking veins from his legs and performing the by-pass before wiring the breast bone back together.

His "arms feel like they weigh 90 pounds" as a by product of being physically tied over his head to keep them out of the way during surgery.

Tomorrow he will be allowed to walk around the cardiac unit.


[Update] Surgery completed successfully!

Just received word that the surgery was a success! They performed a quadruple by-pass. Dad is likely to be in and out most of today.

He'll be in the hospital for at least four days.


[Update] Unfortunately eventful day at Munroe Regional Medical Center

Got a nightly update from Mom.

Dad had another heart attack since my last post. Surgery is on for tomorrow morning at 8:30AM, with prep at 6AM (EDT). The procedure takes about 1-3 hours and we should hear the results shortly thereafter.

[Update] Dad moved to intensive care unit

Dad has been moved to the intensive care unit after suffering another heart attack this morning.

My mom called this morning. I thought perchance because 45 minutes earlier I had received a conformation email stating the flowers had been delivered.

Me: Good morning, how are you?
Mom: Not doing very well ...
Mom: Your father has been moved to ICU... chest pains last night ... heart attack this morning.

She had talked to him twice this morning. Once before the heart attack, once after. When she arrived at the hospital they were admitting another patient and needed my mom to wait for 15-20 minutes. That wasn't sitting too well with her but, our phone call ate most of that time.

Surgery is still scheduled for tomorrow.

More information as it is available.

ProFlowers, These people are serious.

My brother, sister and I decided to order some flowers for my Dad. Samantha asked, "Do you recommend anywhere?" Based on my Valentines Day experience I recommended ProFlowers.com. When I got to work the next day I, coincidentally, had a coupon waiting in my inbox. We ordered 32 Iris and Tulip in a nice vase. The total, including next morning shipping was $58.53.

About an hour later I received an email that our order had shipped. The flowers made the trek from Eureka, California to Ocala, Florida and were out on a truck for delivery some 3000 mi away in a matter of ~20 hours.

Pretty impressive.


[Update] Surgery Re-scheduled

The by-pass surgery has been re-scheduled probably to Thursday. Dad said the cardiac team needed more help and that he was inclined to give them all the time they needed. ;)

He's only slowed by his condition and a monitoring device so he's got free reign of the entire cardiac unit. Basically, it's like staying in a (very) health conscious hotel.

[Update] Heart by-pass scheduled for tomorrow

I spoke with my dad this morning. They have him scheduled for heart by-pass surgery tomorrow morning. They still aren't sure if it will be 3x, 4x, or 5x by-pass.

Dad seemed in good spirits and said the recovery time would have him at least out of the hospital in 5 days from the surgery.

He's just a technophile at heart.

MacIntel in the wild courtesy of Jon Larkowski and all the people that did the work of making it happen.


The South Park Episode Re: Scientology


Tab Mix Plus - Firefox Extension

Tab Mix Plus

Quick Description

Tab Mix Plus enhances Firefox's tab browsing capabilities. It includes such features as duplicating tabs, controlling tab focus, tab clicking options, undo closed tabs and windows, plus much more. It also includes a full-featured session manager with crash recovery that can save and restore combinations of opened tabs and windows.

You can bill for this, it's work related ...

Which is more powerful? IT or Business Culture

This guy hits the nail on the head.

[Update] No quick fix ...

Just receieved a phone call from my brother Rick. Mom called him with an update, they were not able to do a quick fix today. The plan is for a little more investigation followed by a 3x, 4x or 5x by-pass operation.

They are confident that they can control the diabetes with medication in pill form. There was also concern about liver damage, separate incident ("Oh, separate incidents.") The damage there is considered to be "within normal levels" and should not be a concern.

"Is your father in good health?"

Coincidences are strange. I went and looked at a car on Sunday, a 1977 Ford Pinto. What makes this car unique is in 1980 it was converted to a gas/electric hybrid. Outside of needing batteries and some body work it's in operating condition. The owner, a former engineer for a railroad, demonstrated the functional bits and it is a clever design. We couldn't get close enough on price and I really wanted a pure gas configuration for my purposes. He suggested though if it is still sitting around in a few years he'll let me know and I can come pick it up.

On my way out we were discussing Ford Pintos and why either of us were interested in them. For him it was the perfect setup to create his second electric car. For me it's a unique configuration (RWD, 4 Cyl) and there is the nostolgia from my dad owning and racing them.

The owner of the Hybrid asked "Is your father in good health?", when I mentioned he was an ace pinto mechanic.

Sunday morning at 5AM my Dad went to the hospital with chest pains.

About 10 years ago he suffered an incident that found him in St. Mary's cardiac care unit although he contends to this day that he didn't have a heart attack.

While talking to the doctors on Sunday he said he's been having symptoms for the past two years. If he just sits down and takes a break they go away. He goes in for exploratory arthroscopic surgery today. If they can fix what's broken by way of stunt or angioplasty they will.

If they can't fix it today they will come out of surgery and devise a plan of action that would include a more invasive surgery, such as a by-pass. All indications seem to point to the fact that this will be a minor procedure and he'll be out tomorrow.

Here's hoping...


Top 10 Coolest Robots from techeblog.com

Some of the coolest robots I've seen, including some you likely have already seen (Honda Asimo, Sony QRIOs etc).

Each includes a video demo. My personal favorites are the climbing robot and the "amphibious snake-like robot". I'm sure all of these are coming to a battlefield soon.

LED Throwies?

Yes, LED Throwies (in action), ignore pretentious soundtrack. :)

Note the HowTo and Flickr links at the bottom of the link.



Update on Monster iCarPlay (iPod compatible FM Transmitter)

By and large I am happy with the purchase of the Monster iCarPlay. I've run into a few more cons to add to the list however:

Add'l Cons
* Does not always recover well from ignition on/off. Occassionally, I run into a 2 second period of static when I start the car. The radio is usually turned up to compensate for the quietness of the iCarPlay/iPod output.

* When listening to books on tape I get more interference. The only plausible explaination to this I've heard is that the FM Transmitter only transmits when it has input. When listening to books on tape there is a fair amount of pausing for dramatic affect.

Stay tuned ...

"Senator Russ Feingold is an embarrassment to the US Senate"

I'm glad someone chose to write this:

William Greider's "A Peculiar Politician"


Monster iCarPlay

After I left work a little early on Monday I went to BestBuy and picked up a Monster iCarPlay. Here's a quick review:

* Built-in Charger
* One button operation
* Sounds Good, not perfect but, better than expected for an FM transmitter

* Limited pre-set station list
* iPod only connector

Even if it wasn't their most modestly priced receptacle...


iTunes Audiobooks, DaVinci, and Spoiler fun

With the travels we have planned for this summer we decided to look into a few audiobooks. This evening I purchased "The DaVinci Code (Unabridged)", one of the best sellers of 2003, which is 15 hours long.

There, that should keep us busy for a while. Of course, it will take a few moments for the 300+ MB content to download. It was broken into 7 files (or tracks) and a preview was offered. I listened to the first 8 minutes or so and the quality is good, the story sounds interesting. Did you hear the guy gets his head cut off?

That wasn't a spoiler, it's my default spoiler and it always catches someone, usually Chris. :D

Did you see the latest episode of Lost? Locke gets his head cut off!

Did you see The Price Is Right this morning? Bob Barker cut off some ladies head..

It's especially effective for Tivo owners.

Trip to Tenney Park

Mallard Seamus
Originally uploaded by jremsikjr.
After dropping Jen off at work I stopped by Tenney Park with my camera. You can see this and more at Flickr.


Arizona Trip Update: Drive time lessened...

It's not the trip we'll be taking next but, we are already planning for the trip to Greer, AZ for Jen's cousin's wedding. As I mentioned in a previous post, we will be flying into Vegas, renting a car and driving to Arizona.

Looking on Expedia the difference between a full-size and a premium rental car was negligible. Being that we are going to be spending 20+ hours in this vehicle over five days we decided to upgrade.

What does Enterprise Rent-A-Car consider a premium vehicle? A 2006 Dodge Charger.

Even with the smallest available engine which is what a car rental company is likely to order it with it should still add some punch, and, comfort to the trip.


Suddenly planning for a trip to Arizona

We received an invitation to Jen's cousin, Kevin's, wedding this weekend. Kevin and his fiancee are getting hitched in the foothills of the White Mountains in Greer, AZ.

Jen and I spent the night planning our trip. We are flying from Rockford, IL to Las Vegas, NV on Allegiant Air. From Las Vegas we are renting a car and driving to Flagstaff, AZ where we will drop off dead aunt Edna on a family member's patio.

From Flagstaff the plan is to go to the southern rim of the Grand Canyon for Sunset shots on Thursday. Depending on what we see or don't see we may make a second trip on Friday. Otherwise the plan is to make our way to The Petrified Forest National Park.

We'll continue on from the Petrified Forest to Greer where we are staying at the Tin Star Inn. I called and spoke to a cowboy sounding gentleman whose name escapes me. We told him our original plan of visiting only the petrified forest and he made an empassioned plea for us to go to the Grand Canyon.

"Not that there is anything wrong with it, but the petrified forest is just a bunch of rock trees."

After a few nights at the Tin Star and the Saturday night wedding we will make the nine hour drive back to Vegas on Sunday and get ready to fly out bright and early at 6AM.


I had a toothache on Friday, off an on. Come to think of it, I had pain Thursday night at bowling.

Saturday the pain got worse and I wound up taking 4 ibuprofen, a shot of Rum, a couple vicodin and a half pint of Ice Cream. None of which helped. I brushed and then a while later, I used Listerine. The Listerine nearly killed all of the pain.

After a visit to the dentist on Monday morning I've got a supply of Amoxycillin and an appointment to fill a few cavities. Yeay :(