Friday, December 31, 2004

Terps Move to 8-2

I'm happy to report that the University of Maryland Terrapins men's basketball team is now 8-2. With a 112-68 win over Liberty (the college owned by Jerry Falwell..ewwwwwwww), the Terps hit the century mark for the first time in regular season play. The Terps are also 1-0 in ACC play, having won a nailbiter that went into OT with Florida State (final score 90-88). That was a scary game to watch, and I hope that the rest of the ACC schedule isn't as dicey.

Next up for the Terps is local Mount St. Mary's on 1/4/2005 before we resume ACC play against UNC on 1/8/2005. For those locals, the Mt. St. Mary's game will be at 8 p.m. and televised on Comcast.

2004-2005 Record: 8-2
Last game: Terps 112 - Liberty 68
Next up: Mount St. Mary's @ Terps (4 Jan 05, 8 p.m. ET, televised locally on Comcast)

Sorry for the Delays

Sorry, all you avid readers of my blog...
I've been massively delinquent as my buddy Matt pointed out ("Hey, why the hell haven't you updated your blog lately, young lady!?"). Thanks, Matt.

I've been lazy.

But seeing as today's New Year's Eve and I'm sick so I'm not planning on going out (it's a cold with a fever, just draining as all heck), I can probably work on updates some tonight.

First off, I hope everybody had a great holiday season and has a very happy and safe new year. If you're planning on going out tonight, please be careful, drink responsibly, and designate a driver.

Friday, December 10, 2004

RSS For Dummies?

Ok, I admit it, I've not been one to jump onto the RSS bandwagon.
But the more I hear about "RSS feeds this" or "RSS feeds that" or "blah blah RSS blah blah" the more my interest is piqued. So I'm looking for someone out there to introduce me to the world of RSS. Currently I'm using my laptop with Win XP Pro, Firefox being my main browser and Outlook my main e-mail client (still it's the only one to sync properly with my Palm, check ALL my e-mail accounts, and also keep my schedule). So anybody have recommendations for software and how to start getting feeds?

Pretty please, with a cherry on top?

Thursday, December 09, 2004

ACC Roundup

Well, it's a new week (ok, it's late into the week) and now the ACC has 7 teams ranked in the Top 25.

First, here are the ACC standings:
1. NC State (6-0)
2. Georgia Tech (5-0)
3. Duke (5-0)
4. Virginia (7-1)
5. North Carolina (6-1)
6. Wake Forest (6-1)
7. Clemson (4-1)
8. Maryland (4-2)
9. Virgina Tech (4-2)
10. Miami (4-2)
11. Florida State (4-3)

I think it goes without saying that the ACC will be tough as usual this season. Can't wait for conference games to start.

In terms of national polls, 7 ACC teams are ranked in the Top 25! The team is listed, with the ESPN ranking and then the AP ranking in parentheses:
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3/3, last week 4/4)
Wake Forest Demon Deacons (7/6, last week 1/1)
North Carolina Tarheels (8/8, last week 11/9)
Duke Blue Devils (9/9, last week 10/10)
NC State Wolfpack (10/12, last week 13/16)
Maryland Terrapins (17/23, last week 12/12)
Virgina Cavaliers (19/19, last week 25/24)

Terps Move to 4-2

Well, as it turns out, the Terps had a rough time while I was taking a hiatus from working on the blog.

First, on 11/30/2004, Terps lost to Wisconsin in the ACC/Big-10 Challenge. The score was 69-64, but the game was just awful. Luckily I wasn't watching much of it thanks to last minute preparations for my defense.

On Saturday 12/04/2004, in the first round of the annual BB&T Classic, the Terps easily outmatched local rival George Mason, winning 78-54. The game started slow but once the Terps picked up their game, they cruised to victory.

Unfortunately, on Sunday 12/05/2004, another local rival, George Washington University, spanked another ranked opponent, namely the Terps. Having beat Michigan State in round 1 of the BB&T, when they faced us for the championship match, they took advantage of our state of overconfidence. Alas, hopefully this will teach them something about being cocky.

2004-2005 Record: 4-2
Last game: Terps 92 - George Washington University 101
Next up: UNC Asheville @ Terps (12 Dec 04, 1 p.m. ET, televised locally on RJ)

Lots of Updates: Thesis First

I've been really bad about updating this blog lately...I guess defending my thesis did that to me. So here we go, the first in a series of posts updating everything.
First off:
I PASSED!!! :)
I successfully defended my Master thesis on 12/1/2004. :) I spent this past weekend working on my final version of my thesis text, which I finally uploaded "for good" on Monday in the late afternoon. Yes, now if you go looking, you can find "Analysis of Grasp Requirements For Telerobotic Satellite Servicing" in between my dad's Master's theses and my mom's PhD.

As a combination graduation and Christmas gift, my folks gave me a Canon Power Shot A95 digital camera. I put up some new photos on My Photo Index that were taken with the new camera. Not a bad shot, if I do say so myself. :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Da Boat

I finally remembered to put a link to my dad's website, devoted to Seidelmann boats and sailing in general. Be sure to stop by there if you get a chance, he loves getting visitors to the site.

For the record, our boat is Daydreams (the first boat listed on that site), a 30' sailboat.

ACC Update

The weekly rankings came out for college basketball yesterday for week 2. 6 of the 11 ACC teams still in the Top 25, though UNC did drop a bit for their embarassing loss to Santa Clara. The record in parentheses is the team's record as of when the rankings came out. The rankings listed here are the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll

1. Wake Forest Deamon Deacons (2-0; last week #2)
3. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (1-0; last week #4)
10. Duke Blue Devils (1-0; last week #12)
12. University of North Carolina Tarheels (0-1; last week #3)
14. University of Maryland Terrapins (1-0; last week #16)
16. North Carolina State Wolfpack (3-0; last week #19)
*University of Virginia Cavaliers also received votes but did not make it into the Top 25.

Based on ESPN, here are the current (through right now) rankings within the ACC:
1. Wake Forest Deamon Deacons (4-0)
2. University of Virginia Cavaliers (3-0)
3. North Carolina State Wolfpack (3-0)
4. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (2-0)
5. University of Maryland Terrapins (2-0)
6. Duke Blue Devils (2-0)
7. Virginia Tech Hokies (2-0)
8. Clemson Tigers (2-0)
9. University of North Carolina Tarheels (3-1)
10. Florida State Seminoles (2-1)
11. University of Miami Hurricanes (1-1)

Admittedly the season is still young so these rankings look silly. The Terps open up their ACC match play on 19 December versus Florida State and then start the regular ACC season on 8 January 2005.

In other (final) ACC news, CBS SportsLine had a piece on Duke and how their legacy (dynasty?) may be changing. For the first time in years, their non-conference schedule isn't very strong (especially compared with that of the rest of the ACC). Some of this is based on prospective players deciding not to play for Duke and current players leaving early, both to play in the NBA (why anybody would want to play there...oh wait, it's the money. NBA sucks!), and some of it is based on the lack of depth of the current squad. Anyway you can read the whole article over at SportsLine. But we Terps fans always knew that Duke sucks. :P


Terps Now 2-0

In another "easy" win last night, the Terps have improved their early-season record to 2-0. Taking on Mercer at the Comcast Center in College Park, my boys DID show some weakness with 20 turnovers...luckily though they also forced Mercer to make 28 TO's. Nik Caner-Medley, from Maine, lead the squad with 21 points. Last night's match also demonstrated the depth of the entire squad; we had 10 players on the scoreboard including freshman Gist with 10.

Next up, the Terps take on Memphis on Friday night. The game's going to be televised nationally on ESPN2 so be sure to check them out!

2004-2005 Record: 2-0
Last game: Terps 93 - Mercer 67
Next up: Memphis @ Terps (26 Nov 04, 9 p.m. ET, televised on ESPN2)

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Miscellaneous Stuff

Did some updates around here today, added a link to a great blog I just found, The College Basketball blog. You want to know college bball, you need to read this blog. It's super-informative for what's going on around the country in the world of college bball.

I also added a link to my photos index, to give y'all an idea of what I look like and what else is going on in my world from a graphical perspective.

More later, maybe...

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Terps Win Season Opener

That's right, Terps fans!
In the men's basketball season opener last night, the 16th-ranked Terrpains of the University of Maryland hosted Jackson State. The game was dominated by the Terps, who won easily, 93-57. For those who don't know what a Terrapin is, you can read about it on the site for my Hattrick team. I made a page specifically devoted to Terrapins.

In other ACC news, University of North Carolina choked in their opener, losing 77-66 to Santa Clara. Come on, UNC was supposed to be #3 in the country. Seems to me like a bit of Dukie Vitale over-hyping.

Other scores from around the ACC (ACC team listed first):
#4 Georgia Tech 74 - Alabama 37
#19 NC State 100 - East Carolina 66
Florida State 71 - Texas South 62
Virginia Tech 81 - Loyola MD 58
Virginia 88 - R Morris 55
Clemson 98 - Hampton 54

2004-2005 Record: 1-0
Last game: Terps 93 - Jackson State 57
Next up: Mercer @ Terps (23 Nov 04, 8 p.m. ET)

Thursday, November 18, 2004


My "little" sister turns 21 today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KIDDO!

Saturday, November 13, 2004

T Minus 18 Days

Yep, that's right, T minus 18 days until 12/1/04, the date set for my master's thesis defense. What does this mean? It means I'm completely freaking out about the reality of having to get up in front of a group of people and present my findings from the research I've worked on for the last 3.5 years. It also means that I'm in total panic mode trying to tie up all the loose ends in the drafts of my thesis text and the draft of my presentation.

For those of you so curious, my thesis revolves around determining the dexterity requirements to conduct on-orbit satellite servicing missions with robots. It's interesting enough, I suppose, though I'm really ready to be done with it and to move what, I don't know, but definitely to something.

Alas, in order to try to maximize my productivity, I've sequestered myself for the weekend at my parents' house, the place where I have the fewest distractions. Expect updates here to be sporadic at best until after I've defended. On that note, back to Analysis of Grasp Requirements For Telerobotic Satellite Servicing. Please feel free to send any good vibes my way.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

George RR Martin

George R.R. Martin is the author of the series A Song of Ice & Fire. Currently, only 3 of the books (out of who knows how many) are written...he's been working pretty hard on the 4th book, though it's been a long time coming. He updates his site pretty regularly with updates on the book and what else is going on his life (appearances, travels, etc.). He recently updated his bit about the next book, A Feast For Crows. Hopefully his new inspiration will mean I and all the other GRRM fans will have something new to read in the new year.


An entry of progress reports...I figured it's been awhile since I updated on my rehab status or on my workout status.

Workouts first. I swam twice last week and plan on doing so again this week. Also as expected, I was at PT twice last week and will be this week. Unfortunately that biking thing just isn't happening yet. Dean, my physical therapist, doesn't yet want me to do more than 10 minutes on the bike. I really can't justify changing, setting up the trainer, then taking it down and changing again for a 10 minute workout. Alas, I'm going wait until he gives me the go-ahead for 30 minutes (at least) before I start riding. I expect it could come soon. Until then, I'm trying to do calesthenics on my "off" days; situps, pushups, leg work as tolerated by my ankle.

PT is going better this week, too. I seem to have finally escaped my slump/depression over lack of progress and general frustration with my ankle. I'm gaining strength in my leg and can finally do a step down of a SHORT step. I guess the next thing to try will be doing a step down from a larger step, though really any step progress is great for me. One day I really would like to be able to take steps like a normal person again instead of one at a time. I'm also getting better at balancing--I'm up to about 10 seconds if my leg is fresh. One thing we've started that I don't particuarly enjoy but is necessary is gait training. That is where I step over a ruler and make a strong point of not throwing my hip. It's hard. It actually requires a lot of focus and energy. But I've noticed myself walking better even "just out in the street" so I'm putting up with the gait training.

Not bad for progress.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Firefox Update

Get Firefox!
FYI to all you Firefox users out there (and those of you not yet converted!):
Firefox 1.0 (full release, not "preview release") will be released tomorrow, 9 November 04.
Join the fold...

Friday, November 05, 2004

"Just keep swimming..."

It's about time that I got my butt working out again. So I started this past Wednesday, with my friend Meghan. We went swimming, and did a good "welcome back to swimming" workout--it has been over two and a half years since my last shoulder surgery, which is when I stopped swimming.

We did a pretty good workout:
2 x 75 yards free; 30 sec. rest after each 75
1 x 100 yards free; 30 sec. rest after 100
1 x 100 yards free kick
2 x 75 yards free; progressive

That means we did 500 yards, or just over 1/4 mile. :)
We went swimming again today, and did the same workout. Next time, we may increase our yardage or at least the distance per set. I'm pretty stoked about working out again, for those who are so curious, this is more or less the plan:
2 x per week swim
3 x per week bike (probably just on the trainer until I get cleared to do anything else)
2 x per week physical therapy

I'll keep you all updated on my workout progress. :P

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

4 More Years of the Bush Regime

This may get me prosecuted because of the Patriot Act, but I'm to a point that I don't care.

I am thoroughly disappointed that George W. Bush won re-election in yesterday's election. I wouldn't be as depressed if I thought that Bush won a campaign of honor and integrity. But no, he won on a campaign of fear and ignorance. He preyed on the biggest fears of Americans in this post-9/11 world and relied on most of the voting populace knowing even less about the issues than he did (which is saying a lot about the ignorance of Americans in general). This is what dictators do. This makes Bush, and let's face it, the REAL president, Dick Cheney, no different than our enemies.

Personally, I'm hoping to get the hell out of this country knowing these election results. Somehow it strikes me that being located just outside of the epicenter of the regime just isn't a safe place to be.

I hope I can get to Australia...

Tuesday, November 02, 2004


I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said, "Somewhere in Texas, a village is missing its idiot." Please, let's let them have their idiot back...

Vote today! Be prepared to stand in line for awhile, though, so maybe bring a book or some music to chill with.

Vote Kerry.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

More on NaNoWriMo

Well I picked up the book, "No Plot? No Problem!" by Chris Baty, the founder of the National Novel Writing Month. Needless to say, it's definitely inspired me to try to write a novel (defined as 50k words) in one month. Unfortunately, this year's NaNoWriMo, in November 2004, I don't think I can do because I will be defending my thesis on December 1st. I think I'm going to try to write my "novel" in the month of January, and then depending on how things go, may try again in the official NaNoWriMo next year (November, 2005). Good luck to all of this year's participants!!! As for me, I'll be updating on how things go for me in January...

Thursday, October 28, 2004



In a 4 game World Series sweep, Boston won its first World Series in 86 years last night.
Yes, I know I'm a little late in posting. That's what school does to you sometimes.
I only wish my grandfather were still alive to see it--he's the one that got me into watching baseball and in particular rooting for the BoSox. Yeah, a depressing thought, I know.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Stupid Gimmick

Taco Hell is at it again: offering fans a free crunchy taco if either team hits a home run that hits their 12' x 12' target during tonight's World Series game 3. They've done this in the past with big home run events and also with the MIR space station (if I remember correctly). I can't imagine that too many people would ever take them up on it if the target was actually hit, but Taco Bell's owner, Yum! Brands Inc (how original), has taken out an insurance policy to ensure they don't take any losses for the giveaway. Personally, I don't care for TH's crunchy tacos, but this gives me an idea...

What about giving people a "reward" for voting? I know it's the civic duty of Americans to go out and vote, but I also know that voter turnout is traditionally low--and sinking. And, no, I'm not talking about Michael Moore's alleged offer to give free underwear to people that register to vote and promise to vote for John Kerry (though I don't put it past him, I haven't had a chance to research this claim at all). If I'm not mistaken, that constitutes buying a vote and is illegal. I just want to see people actually get out and vote.

If popular media is any indication, so do a lot of other people--some big-name companies included. So, why not offer a gimmick to those that vote? Say, a free donut at Dunkin' Donuts or Krispy Kreme for anybody who shows up on Nov. 3rd with proof of having voted on Nov. 2nd. I don't know about other voting regions, but I know that where I vote (Harmony Hall in Columbia, MD), I get a little sticker that says "I Voted" when you leave the polls. Or, perhaps you could get a receipt or a stub for voting that could verify you did it. Seems to me that a "gimmick" like THAT would actually be worthwhile and might even drag a few more people to the polls...

Sunday, October 24, 2004


I've come to the realization especially lately that I'm a PDA dork. I mean, I knew I was a gadget dork...but I think I realized today how many things I do with my Palm Pilot.

My voyage into the weird world of PDA's started back in the day when I bought a Palm IIIxe. It was a black and white/grayscale job. On that one, the only applications I ever used were the Datebook (the built-in one) and the game Bejeweled. I never thought I'd be one of those people who relied on a Palm Pilot for scheduling, but since I've owned one, I find I'm sort of lost without it. Thank goodness it sync's up to Outlook, so that at least if I misplace it I have my appointments backed up.

I upgraded when the Palm m505 came out, my first color PDA. It was a lot of fun. I loved its slim profile and low-res color screen. It was also the first Palm Pilot that I started playing RPG's on. I got addicted to Aldon's Crossing, which is still a great game, though after you've beat it with all the different character types/classes, it loses some replay value.

After the m505 I made my first foray into the world of the PPC. I picked up a first generation high end Dell Axim. I admit, I probably first got it because of PDA envy because my current roommate had one, and I thought it was downright sexy. Ah, PDA envy causes us to make expensive purchases. Honestly I didn't use this one as much as I might have. I'm not really sure why. I had a WiFi card for it, though, and used it often to talk on IM during class. But, I had a friend entering medical school at the time, and he informed me that having a Palm based PDA would be better becasue of the apps for medical school and medical clinical purposes.

Spoiled by my experience with WiFi, I looked into Palm Pilots with integrated WiFi. There was and still is only one, the Palm Tungsten C. So I sold off the Axim and picked up the T|C. Which is where I am now. With the OS 5 and thus enhanced processer, more gaming options were open to, instead of just using the date book feature, I play a lot of games. I've also since found other great programs, both freeware and software, that have seriously extended the use of my PDA. I must fully admit that the Tungsten C is the PDA I've had the most use out of. Certainly I've had it the longest of any PDA and I can't see replacing it any time soon (especially given the newest Palms that have been released).

I was tempted to write this after realizing that I spend probably 50% of my time (at least) on my Palm these days for homework tracking, thesis tracking, playing games, and keeping tabs on all my doctors' phone numbers and appointments. I never thought I'd be one to use a PDA for anything other than games, I'm still surprised to look back on my usage and realize how much of my life is stored on my T|C.

Peroneal Tendons

Will somebody please tell the FOX announcers that the Curt Schilling's injury is a torn peroneal tendon sheath, pronounced "pair-oh-neal"???

I can sympathize with Curt. He's torn the sheath enclosing his peroneus longus and brevis tendons, allowing his peroneus brevis (I imagine) to slip in and out. I've torn that same sheath...and the tendons inside...3 times or so. Of course, since my fusion I don't have those tendons anymore, but I know the pain of that injury.

I'm impressed with what the Sox medical team has done to try to keep the tendon from dislocating. From ESPN, "The technique involves suturing Schilling's tendon in place so it doesn't flop over his ankle when he pitches. He had the stitches put in on Monday and removed after his start on Tuesday night." What a crazy procedure, though it makes sense. The team doctor tried it on a cadeaver ankle prior to trying it on Schilling, but wow. Hopefully it'll keep him healthy enough to pitch here in Game 2.

I feel for you, Curt! Great job so far. :)

Thursday, October 21, 2004


BOSTON RED SOX 10 - new york yankees 3
Coming back from 3 games in the hole, facing almost certain elimination.
Man I wish I were in Boston tonight.

Damon, my pick for MVP of tonight's game.
Ortiz, my pick for MVP of the series.

World Series bound, can you believe it?!?! First time since 1986 if I'm not mistaken...
BOSTON RED SOX 10 - new york yankees 3

ESPN box score info
BOSTON RED SOX 10 - new york yankees 3
BOSTON RED SOX 10 - new york yankees 3
BOSTON RED SOX 10 - new york yankees 3

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

ALCS Game 7: Middle of the 4th

2 run HR by Papi in the first.
Grand Slam by Damon in the 2nd.
Another 2 run HR by Damon in the 4th.

So right now Boston's leading New York 8-1 going into the bottom of the 4th.
Only 4 and a half more innings....better not jinx it by being optimistic.

Oh, and for those of you who missed it last night, the final score was 4-2, Boston.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

ARod is SUCH a putz

This is baseball, Yankees style. Do something that's blatantly against the rules, then pretend you didn't. Whine about it because you have a lot of money and you're a "superstar" and most of the time get the call to go the way you want it.
How frickin' ridiculous. These umps deserve a hand, they've done a great job calling the game tonight. Now if only the Yankees weren't such overpaid crybaby pansies.
Going into the 9th inning, Boston is still up 4-2, keep your fingers crossed for the RIGHT team not to get robbed (either by real runs or stupid fans). Man, and they say UMd fans (and players) are jerks. We're nothing compared to the Yankees and their fans.

Let's Go Boston!

Uh oh!
Going into the bottom of the 4th inning, Boston's up 4-0. Thank goodness the umps called the fan interference on the home run correctly and awarded the HR. I've seen too many teams get robbed by fans at Yankees games (think of the O's in 1996 and the BoSox in 2003). Fingers crossed, this series will go to a game 7 (and a Boston win there, too).

Stay tuned for updates...

Lady of Procrastination

Along with being "gimpygal" or "The Surgery Queen" and the "girlie gadget freak," I think I can add "Lady of Procrastionation" to the list of things I've been called...

I'm sitting here working on my thesis defense presentation (while I wait for comments on my thesis draft from my committee members), and my mouse keeps wandering over to Firefox and surfing the internet. Of all the places I've been surfing lately, I keep going back to the Starbucks blog (ah, yes, a blog that really matters--one about coffee and one of the most prevalent places to get it) and over to Yahoo! Games to play Bounce Out. Bounce Out is like the classic/well-known game "Bejeweled" but with a bit more challenge. There are these black balls that don't move, and the patterns for exchanging balls can be a bit harder to see. I'm completely addicted, though my score is so low I'm not even going to admit my highest score.

I'm tempted to register for the National Novel Writing Month...though at the moment, I don't have any real ideas for a topic except one that might get me beat up, sort of one talking about things that have gone on in my life (and around my life) lately. We shall see. Anybody reading this going to do the NaNo challenge? Let me know, I'd be interested in hearing about your experience...

David Ortiz, Boston's Hero

DH David "Papi" Ortiz did it again last night. For the third time in the baseball playoffs, his late-inning hit has been the game-winner for the Red Sox. This time the hit was in the bottom of the 14th inning, clinching a 5-4 win over the Yankees and taking the ALCS to a cruical game 6 back in New York.

Next game is tonight, 10.19.04, at 8 p.m. on Fox. GO BOSTON!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

What's Wrong, Curt?!?!

Curt Schilling seems to have had a short night in New York tonight...3 innings pitched, 6 earned runs. Yes, that means those bastard Yankees are up 6-0 on my BoSox right now in the top of the 6th with 2 outs.

To add insult to injury, Mike Mussina is on the mound for the Yankees, a player that was stolen from the O's. Let's face it, whatever talent the Yankees have, the Yankees have bought. Baseball is no longer about who has the best's who has the money to buy the best team. And unfortunately when it comes to money, George Steinbrenner has the most of it.

Damn Yankees.

Rehab, A Step Backward

Just when I thought I was making progress in PT, today we took a step back.
Whether it was from the balancing attempts on Friday or from the boat on Saturday, my ankle swelled up pretty nastily on Saturday night, so I didn't do any of my exercises this weekend, and we've decided to stop doing balancing exercises until the swelling goes away.
I guess it's a step backwards, though hopefully we'll get back on track soon.

Friday, October 08, 2004

BoSox WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks to a 2 run HR by David Ortiz in the bottom of the 10th, your (and mine!) Boston Red Sox are the 2004 AL West champions and are heading for a second straight year to the AL Championship Series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If I could dance right now I'd do a happy dance. You'll have to imagine me doing one. ;)

More Info on Harry Potter Book 6

Just saw this on
Rowling: Another Potter character to die.
You can read the full story here, not that there's much more to the story. Apparently JK Rowling has announced that somebody else will die in book 6, Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince, though she's not giving us any hints on who it might be.

In the most recently released book in the series, Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix, she killed off Sirius Black, Harry's godfather. I personally hadn't seen that coming...I assumed it would be Hagrid or one of the teachers. Time to start trolling the HP fan sites to see who might be the next victim (it would seem that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword)...

What is going on, Boston???

For those of you not watching ESPN, you should know that at the top of the 7th, with Boston leading 6-1, the Angels loaded the bases, got a run from a walk and then Vlad G. hit a friggin' grand slam to tie it up at 6 each.

It's going on to extra innings now, so all you BoSox fans out there need to tune in and keep your fingers crossed for a win to move on to the ALCS.

And while you're at it, put a curse on the Yankees. I'm tired of them. Everybody get out your A-Rod voodoo doll and stab it repeatedly. Wouldn't hurt to do that with the your Jeter voodoo doll, too...

Rehab, Two Weeks Down... many more to go??? That's the real question, though I expect it to last about 4-6 months.
Two weeks are officially over now of my rehab. This means that in two more weeks, I'll be able to walk around without the brace on my ankle (YIPPY!). Hopefully it also means that in two more weeks I'll be able to cut down to 2 visits to the PT office per week, instead of the 3 I'm doing now. We'd originally hoped to cut down to 2 after today, but obviously that didn't happen.

On an up note, though, biking is less painful now than it was when I started; I imagine I'll be able to do it on my own at home soon. :) Today we started balancing and worked on a bit more strengthening. This means that so far my exercises include theraband work, picking up marbles with my toes, toe curls, heel & toe raises, biking, and now trying to balance for 15 seconds (my best so far is 2 seconds) and doing some leg-press style exercises. PROGRESS!!! At last.

Thursday, October 07, 2004


Look out real world, today I scheduled my thesis defense.
For those so curious, I'm set to defend from 10-noon on Wednesday, December 1. It's a scary prospect. But now all the paperwork is set and the room is reserved, so it's as official as it can get until I actually defend.

(play scary music)

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Gadget Girl Strikes Again

I admit it, I'm a gadget-aholic.
I love toys: PDA's, mp3 players, computer hardware, cameras...anything in this new digital era, I seem to love it and almost always want to get it.

Naturally, Palm's release of the Tungsten T5 this week has made me wonder if it's time to upgrade my PDA. Currently I'm using a Palm Tungsten C and I love it dearly. The integrated Wi-Fi is particularly nice, considering our network here in the apartment and the Wi-Fi network on campus. Since the T5 doesn't have this feature, I'm probably going to hold off on getting it. I think I may as well wait, too, until Palm releases their new OS, be it Cobalt or Garnet. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of the big screen...but I like my keyboard on the T|C (and have become fully spoiled by it) and I'm not sure I'm ready to give it up. The other reason I've decided to wait is to make sure that any software I purchase (such as my beloved games) will be compatible with the new OS. This doesn't mean I've ruled out picking up a PPC or a Tapwave Zodiac 2...I'm always looking for suggestions, feel free to recommend a device for me. :D

Speaking of toys, today I went to Staples and finally got some screen cleaners for my Palm, and a USB sync/cigarette lighter recharger. It's nice, meaning I can finally stop relying on my cradle and I can charge my Palm even if I'm in the car. ;)

I finally also today got my screen protector onto my Palm, so I'm feeling good about playing games again. It took a few tries, a steamy bathroom, and a non-adhesive type of protector. I finally settled on the G2 screen protector, and so far I like it. It's much better than the old Fellows one I had on it before. I'll keep you guys posted on what's going on with my screen these days.

Monday, October 04, 2004

What's playing...

Thought I'd drop a fast note here to put a little word out for some CD's I've been listening to lately and think are damn good.

First is the Damnwells CD, Bastards of the Beat. I'd never heard of these guys until my friend Meghan recommended them to me. Mellow tunes, a sound I haven't really heard before. Like Linkin' Park, it's easy to say that the songs on this CD don't sound like the one before it. That is a huge gripe of mine lately, that you buy a CD and every song sounds the same.

Then there's the new Green Day release, American Idiot. I've been a GD fan for a long time...since "back in the day" in high school when listening to Dookie. I'll be the first to admit, especially at the beginning, their songs sounded all the same. This CD is a new leaf for them, a sort of maturation of Billie Joe and the rest of the band. They still use only three chords...but now they've developed into actual music. This is the best CD I've ever heard from them.

Finally there is Frou Frou's Details CD. Another band I hadn't heard of until recently, I was turned onto them by their song "Let Go" which I heard on the Garden State soundtrack (it's #12 on that CD). The CD is another "unique sound" CD. I'm not sure who I could compare it to, sort of like a cross between Tori Amos and some more "rock-y" band.

Good listening, go out and buy 'em. :)

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Firefox revisited

as an update to my previous post about firefox not working 100% (particularly with regards to getting and installing updates automatically), i did as suggested and uninstalled it and then installed the new version.

unfortunately this didn't really help much. i still can't seem to get it to auto install updates. for example, the fresh install required that flash be re-installed. however, when the agent told me it needed to be installed and i told it to go ahead and install flash, it sat there doing nothing and making no progress for about 20 minutes before i decided to kill it. i've since gone and manually installed flash, but this is a very annoying inconvenience. any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

as another little observation, this fresh install of firefox doesn't seem to be showing me the confirmation of the publication of posts here...odd.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

A GREAT company

just wanted to pop on here and give my major kudos and thanks to the guys over at Red vs. Blue. i had ordered the 2nd season DVD of RvB awhile back and recently realized that i hadn't received it yet. i sent them an e-mail to see if my copy could be tracked down. they immediately replied that they had sent it, but since i hadn't received it, they're sending me another copy. what great customer service from those guys, THANKS SO MUCH!!!

Firefox help?

ok, i'm hoping that somebody reading this can give me a hand, i actually posted this note as a "comment" on Joel from 1src's Switchblog.

does anybody have similar problems with firefox on a PC and/or know how to resolve the problems:
i've had firefox since version 0.7 or so on my PC and have never been able to use the "automatic update" feature (it never updates, just tells me that it's installing them making no progress). similarly, if i try to open a link that requires a popup (such as this comments page!) and forget to hit ctrl while i click it, it never opens for me unless i shut down firefox and restart it.
i hate IE but man, this is getting inconvenient...any ideas?

UPDATE: It seems that there was an option in the Tools/Options menu to "Allow websites to install..." that needs to be checked for the automatic updates to work. Still can't figure out what's going on with the pop-up blocking, but it's good to know I wasn't going crazy with the update installations.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Seriously frustrated

University of Maryland is such a different place from when I started back in August 1997. I honestly believe that the changes have been for the worse.

Don't get me wrong, our education programs are better. And our sports teams are better, notably football and basketball. But student life is suffering. Student activities fees are skyrocketing. Parking permit fees are skyrocketing while at the same time parking spaces for students are disappearing. Construction on campus has made car traffic almost impossible, bike traffic downright dangerous and pedestrian traffic crowded & muddled. Let's not get started on what it's done to the parking space availability.

These past 2 days have been frustrating for me as a Maryland alum and current student. First I found that since I had a student ticket for the first two UMd football games but did not go to the game and did not cancel my tickets "on time," I am no longer eligible for student football tickets. Thank you very much University of Maryland ticketing. I have been paying student activities fees every semester (and most summers) for each semester since Fall, 1997 (excepting Spring, 2000, when I took a semester off of school). I paid nearly $400 in student activities fees this semester and then paid another $100 for a ONE SEMESTER parking permit for my car. I have been a loyal Terp fan in all of this time. Yet now I cannot get student tickets and if I want to go to games, I must pay at least $15 per game for a guest ticket. THIS IS RIDICULOUS. Why would I pay $15 per game for a guest ticket (if they're even available) when my STUDENT ACTIVITIES FEES should already cover the cost of tickets for me?!?!

I've had a good reason for not going to games yet also not cancelling my tickets "on time," which it turns out is the game start time. Sometimes after a major surgery to a body part/joint that supports most of your weight, you just don't feel good enough to walk the quarter mile or so up to the stadium, proceed to stand/jump at the game for 3 hours and then walk back. ANYBODY who's had surgery like mine can attest to this. So for our first two games, I was tailgating and realized that it would be better for me not to attend. When you're at a tailgate, it's not common to have a computer nearby. So how could I go online to cancel my tickets when I had just decided not to go for my own health? And please don't suggest to me I could have driven home, because for these games, I was still in a short leg plaster cast on my right ankle and thus couldn't drive.

So thanks University of Maryland. What a fucking shitty way to spend my last semester; getting raped on activities fees and then not being allowed to go. I'm sure there's a lawsuit somewhere in there, but I'm depressed that it seems the only way to solve anything is to threaten a lawsuit. In the grand scheme, it's not worth the hassle. How sad.

I suppose after my frustrations with the student ticketing, it's understandable that I'd get frustrated easily with anything Maryland-related. I went to campus this morning to get to class. While I was already off on the wrong foot (made myself a latte with regular coffee instead of my espresso roast DOH!), it never occurred to me that i'd have a problem finding a parking space...after all, I paid $100 for my parking permit. Now, let's be honest, my permit is for Lot 4. Lot 4, for those not familiar with the UMd system, is relegated as "overflow parking." This means that if other lots are full, anybody with a numbered permit can park in Lot 4. It also means that if others are parking in Lot 4, it can fill up and I can't park anywhere. This is what happened today. Hence, my good intentions of actually going to class were shot down.

Luckily from there the day got much better. I ended up in Rockville to have lunch with my mom and Elisa, and then went to visit Meghan over at Barnes & Noble. I picked up the "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Presents America (The Book)." What a GREAT book! If you haven't heard of it for its semi-notoroius "naked Supreme Court justices," you definitely need to go to a bookstore and at least leaf through it. I'd be surprised if you don't end up purchasing it (and do it now, while it's still a new release so you get a deal on the price!!!).

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Rehab, Day 1...

well day one was actually on wednesday the 22nd but let's face it, between school and my birthday i didn't have enough motivation to write anything...

to tell the truth, rehab isn't a lot of fun. but i'm going into this particular stretch of physio with a lot more optimism. i mean, in the past i know i've been hurting in odd ways prior to starting rehab (odd ways meaning i was pretty sure something was wrong) while this time i feel confident that most things are working properly. i'll admit i'm still sore over my ligament reconstruction, but the pain isn't nearly as bad as it's been before. my biggest goals with rehab are to be able to walk comfortably again and to be able to walk down a flight of stairs without taking it one step at a time.

so my PT, dean, beat me up a bit on wednesday. he doesn't seem to think i'll get much more range of motion in the ankle in terms of brining my foot/toes up towards me, but i need that motion if i want to talk downstairs properly. i think if i work at it, i'll be able to get it. so far PT incorporates picking up marbles or pennies with my toes, doing toe curls, and doing thera-band exercises to strengthen my calf muscles. i assume that soon i'll start biking and trying to do some balance, too. i have no idea what picking up the pennies with my toes or doing the toe curls does in terms of "fixing/rehabbing" my ankle, but it hurts so i assume it's doing something.

i can't wait until i get to do more things...stay posted here for more updates!!

Sunday, September 19, 2004

"Cast? What's that about?"

so, yes, there's a good reason that the URL for my blog starts with "gimpygal." i managed to go through my first 21 years of life relatively unhurt. though, once i started graduate school, things went downhill it seems. since starting graduate school at university of maryland in summer, 2001, i've had 8 surgeries. yes, that's EIGHT. i will attempt to describe all of them here in brief...

for those so interested, the information on my shoulder surgeries is at my comcast webspace, so i won't take up more webspace here talking about it. be warned, there are eight pictures on the page, all taken with the arthroscopic camera before the main, open surgery was started. personally, i don't think they're that gross, but i am planning on going to medical school (there is no blood in any of the pictures). so those surgeries (on 26 july 2001 and 20 december 2001) were my first two ever surgeries, and all that i'd ever expected i'd need. boy was i wrong...

the next part of the story gets a bit muddled, since a lot of things happened at once. on 3 july 2001, i was playing soccer in my recreational "beer league" with my team from work. i went up for a head ball and instead of coming down on both feet, my ankle rolled inwards on top of the foot of the person that was marking me. a lot of snaps and a blood-curdling scream later (as my teammates described it), i was on the ground thinking i'd broken my ankle. after composing myself, though, i felt it, realized it wasn't broken, and proceeded to get up and jump on it, "to see if it would hold." it did, so i decided i was ok and tried to keep playing. though the ref and my teammates didn't let me play anymore that night, they didn't stop me from playing in the next week's game, which i played after taking about 1600 mg of ibuprofen. this was a bad idea. not only was my ankle still in a lot of pain, but i was sick to my stomach because of all the ibuprofen and seeing triple, probably as a combined result of the pain and the ibuprofen.

i'd already had the ankle x-rayed so i knew it wasn't broken, so i went with the assumption that i'd sprained it. since i was set to have surgery on 26 july anyway, i just lived with my bad ankle. however, as i recovered from shoulder surgeries and got back to my normal soccer routine, i realized i could barely play soccer, let alone walk, without my ankle turning. i went back to my doctor and he ordered rehab. PT didn't work in the a matter of fact, the physios laughed at me because my ankle was so dead that i couldn't even do the things (like balancing on one foot) to make my ankle better without it rolling.

concurrently in the spring of 2002, i was getting a lot of sore throats and generally feeling pretty run down. when my normal doctor couldn't find anything drastically wrong, she referred me to an ear/nose/throat guy who decided i had chronic tonsilitis and needed my tonsils removed. so, on 6 june 2002, while i was still trying to rehab my ankle to good health, i had my tonsils taken out. i was 22 at this point. my ENT had warned me in advance that it would hurt a lot. i really didn't take him seriously. after surgery, though, i realized what he meant: it hurt so much that i could barely swallow ANYTHING (not even ice cream) and i more or less stopped eating for 3 weeks. it was a great diet, let me tell you, since i dropped 15 pounds. it turns out that adults tend to have more pain with tonsillectomies than do the kids that get it. there is no real reason known why except for the fact that in adults, there are usually more nerve endings and the tonsils are that much bigger. my ENT told me at one of my post-op visits that he's had adult women say it was worse than childbirth. i believe him.

so anyway. that's 3 surgeries so far. once the tonsils were out, i could focus full-time on my ankle. unfortunately, the PT's gave up hope on me and said i needed to go back to my doctor. he decided i had chronic instability and we scheduled surgery for 15 august 2002. the surgery he did was to take a part of my peroneus brevis tendon and use it to reconstruct the lateral ankle ligaments i tore. he'd gone in hoping that he would be able to "just tie up the loose ends" but once i was out, he said my ankle just flopped around and had nothing left. so, he took the part of the peroneus brevis and weaved it in and out of my ankle bones to create the new ligament structures.

following this surgery, i was in a cast and on crutches for 6 weeks and then in an Aircast stirrup brace for another 4 weeks. i got "released" from the brace on 25 october 2002 (a friday) and was told to start rehab. on 28 october (the following monday), i came into my office jumping all around showing everybody how my ankle was finally free. i recall glenn said, "oh, that's ok, you'll just go hurt something else." that night, after getting frustrated with a professor in my satellite communications class, i left the classroom and punched a cinder block wall. i was so frustrated with things, i decided i couldn't go back into the classroom so i went out to call my parents and tell them what had happened in the class. while talking to them, i realized my hand was getting bigger and bigger and that i couldn't move my pinkie finger at all. i hung up with my parents and called my friend john (my current roommate). i believe my immortal words were "john, what does a broken hand look like?" a few hours later in the ER of washington adventist hospital, i was getting my hand set for having broke my 5th metacarpal on my right hand. what a disaster.

i went and saw my doc on the 30th and got put into a real cast. it was supposed to take about 4 weeks to heal, but at 4 weeks post-fracture, i was still in a lot of pain so he put me into a cast for another 4 weeks. all during this time i was still rehabbing my ankle, so i had a lot of bodily injury stuff going on. right before christmas in 2002, i had the cast removed from my hand. it still hurt, but my doctor thought it was "normal" so sent me on my way. i spent christmas eve and christmas in mass amounts of pain so called the doctor's office on 26 december and got an appointment to see the hand specialist. he took a look at my x-rays and saw that i had about 60-90 degrees of angulation. that is, the head of my knuckle was pointing in towards my palm instead of out towards my finger. he suggested a course of therapy to see if that would reduce the pain, though admitted that in cases of such extreme angulation, surgery is sometimes the only answer.

after a week and a half of fruitless therapy, my hand therapist told me i needed to go back to the doctor, since i could barely tolerate any of the exercises she wanted me to do; they all hurt too much. needless to say, surgery was scheduled for 29 january 2003 (if you're keeping count, this is surgery #5). the hand surgeon told my mom after the surgery that not only was my hand fracture angulated, but it was also twisted. he said it took next to nothing to re-break it and it definitely explained why i was still in pain. he re-set my hand and fixed it with 2 k-wires (it's a bit like piercing the outside of your hand...except the wires go in through the bone). 4 weeks later, he pulled out the k-wires (a very weird feeling) and i started to rehab my hand in addition to the continued rehab for my ankle. my hand healed up quickly after that...unforunately i wasn't quite so lucky with my ankle.

in may 2003, after 8 months of rehab on my ankle, i was still having a lot of pain and "popping." my surgeon reffered me to dr. paul cooper, a foot/ankle specialist at georgetown university hospital in washington, dc. at my initial appointment with dr. cooper, he determined that i had scar tissue build up and most likely tore the peroneus tendons (brevis and longus). an MRI later that day confirmed it, and i had surgery on 6 august 2003. dr. cooper had hoped to be able to go in and clean everything up arthroscopically, but my ankle was more damaged than even the MRI showed; i had re-torn the lateral ligaments and torn the tendons, so he had to do a full open surgery to re-reconstruct the ligaments and to repair the tendons. i spent the first 6 weeks after THIS surgery in a cast and on crutches, followed by another 6 weeks in a walking boot. then i started rehab, but things didn't go for very long before i realized that "something wasn't right" and saw dr. cooper again on 12 december 2003.

an MRI that same night confirmed i'd re-torn both peroneal tendons, so we scheduled surgery for as soon as we could do it, 24 december 2003. the plan for this surgery was to use a cadeaver tendon to replace my torn tendons. however, it turned out that the muscle he needed to attach the cadeaver tissue to wasn't there anymore (probably lost as a result of previous surgery) so instead he ended up taking a tendon from the bottom of my foot and wrapping it around the back of my lower leg and to the outside of my ankle. he also had to clean up more scar tissue, so things were generally a mess all over again.

6 weeks in a cast on crutches and another 6 weeks in a boot later, i found myself, where else but back in rehab. things weren't initially as bad as they were from the august surgery, but as time went on, my ankle started hurting more and more, which really made no sense to me. we backed off a bit at rehab, but by the time i went for my 4 month post-op appointment, i was having a lot of problems walking without pain. this was already a familiar theme with me, and based on the noises my ankle was making and how much it hurt, i assumed that i'd re-(re-)-re torn the peroneal tendons. a visit to dr. cooper suggested that he agreed with my self-diagnosis, but he didn't think that fixing the tendons AGAIN would really solve anything, so he suggested i might need a subtalar fusion. basically, that's where they stick a big ol' screw up through your heel so you can't move your ankle much anymore. but before he did such a drastic procedure, he wanted me to see his mentor (and apparently one of the best foot/ankle surgeons in the world), dr. myerson.

dr. myerson was luckily able to take me in for an exam on very short notice (i got extremely lucky with this, since he's normally backed up for upwards of 4 retrospect, i suppose that he took me so soon because my ankle was really bad, and it was an interesting case...i'm not sure that's a good thing). he took one look at my ankle and watched me walk (try to walk, really), and decided i needed not just the subtalar joint fused, but the talo-navicular joint and the calcaneo-navicular joint fused, a procedure called a triple arthrodesis.

this triple artrodesis, along with a sural neurectomy, general debriedment, and crisman-snook ligament reconstruction, happened in surgery #8 on 25 June 2004. this means that i no longer have those pesky peroneal tendons, nor do i have any feeling on the outside of my foot. he also had to do the crisman-snook reconstruction because it turned out that my old reconstructions had popped (again). now there are 5 screws in my ankle, 4 marking where the fused joints are (they initially held them together, now they're justthere for support), and another 1 holding the ligament reconstruction. that mess over, i was on crutches and non-weight bearing for 6 weeks, and then spent another 6 weeks in a short leg walking cast.

my 11 week post-op visit with dr. myerson was on 13 september, and he gave me the go-ahead to start rehab. he also moved me to a simple Aircast AirSport brace, which i'll wear for the next month or so. i start physio this wednesday, 22 september, so expect updates here.

and there you have it. 8 surgeries in 2 years, 11 months. hopefully if nothing else my experiences can help others out there prepare for their surgeries so they know what to expect...i found when i was going into my surgeries, i didn't have much info on any of them so wanted to know more. hence, i'm gimpygal. :) tomorrow, i promise, not such a long entry!

Saturday, September 18, 2004

What's Up in the World of K?

so it seems my Sex and the City binge is done for at least the time being; i seem to have run out of episodes available on OnDemand.

can i just mention how much i love OnDemand, and DVR in general? it's such a useful tool for watching tv, even if it's just live tv--there is something quite grand about being able to pause live tv. :D i noticed last night that they added Sex and the City to the HBO OnDemand lineup. it's just the first 12 or so episodes of season 6, but it's better than watching the season 1/2 episodes from TBS. to be nice to my roommate john, i waited to watch these episodes until he was out for the evening.

Maryland Terps football lost today to the Mountaineers of West Virginia University. it was an awful game to watch; hopefully after today's debacle, statham will no longer be the starting qb. haha, look at me pretending to talk like i know what i'm saying about football. truth be told, football makes no sense, probably because i played soccer for so long. but i do have to be loyal to my Terrapins.

now that i'm free of the cast, i'm supposedly clear to bike (on a stationary bike) and swim. and provided i can find someone to teach me, i can play golf. ;) any takers? honestly i'm afraid of hitting the bike yet. i know myself and my tendency to overdo things, and let's face it, i can't deal with any more surgery. i want to hit the pool, too, but i'm waiting for the scrapes and cuts on my ankle and foot to heal fully before i swim...i guess i should find my bathing suit, too.

oz the psycho kitty seems to want my attention now, so i'll wrap it up for the night. maybe on the next entry i'll actually write about something more interesting... :D

So this is a blog, eh?

I really don't know what posessed me to start up a new blog. The old one was doing fine, I suppose But this one hopefully will be easier to maintain--at least in terms of formatting and posting. This way I can dedicate my personal webspace to pictures...once I get a digital camera or manage to get some film for my cameras.

I seem to be preoccupied at the moment with watching Sex and the City on HBO OnDemand, so I'll write a bit more later.