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Monday, September 29, 2014

Interesting exchanges recently.

Lately, I've had some interesting back and forth from a few different people. Some I have met through Linked-In, and others on Facebook. A guy with one of the vet centers, seemed to have a promising idea about how I might get some participation by encouraging some vet centers to ask their members if they might like to connect to others with TBI, so that they might see that they are not as alone as it feels at times. It would be cool if there were a different way to reach out and obtain e-mail addresses, but who knows?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

OK, I've started to assemble the group.

Admittedly, my circle of TBI friends is possibly smaller than that of others. I had a really good time communicating with a fellow through the use of communicator over Facebook, but Facebook limits the amount of text that can be displayed at one time, and as such probably imposes some limitations on expressing complex ideas with many words. I am hopeful that this largely e-mail distribution list way of engaging with other TBI survivors will work out like I am hoping that it will. I know from experience, that big distribution lists can become difficult to manage. With google groups, in theory, it is possible to access the groups through a web based interface, so if traffic were to become too big, accessing it through the web based interface should be fairly easy. I'd like for more disabled people to be accessing technology to engage with others. I understand that there was an article published about the use of Facebook among TBI survivors to build social networks, and engage with others. This article was written by someone out of Mount Sinai School of Medicine. From another conversation I've had with a caregiver, she revealed that there seems to be more supportive communities in New York City, maybe something about having a critical mass of people, or just the numbers of people with similar conditions.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

I've had this idea for awhile. I'd like to see a non professional support group for TBI folks formed using the internet.

There appear to be many individual support groups built around certain people, who keep things going with their own content, and updating things through Facebook. For what it is worth, I did start a little hidden google group, for the non professional TBI support group, but there appear to be some obstacles to finding others who might also want to be part of the hidden group. So, I created a public facing page, just dealing with Traumatic Brain Injuries. I am involved with a VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University) study about trying to determine if having a focus group on Facebook might be beneficial for a small group of job seekers. I have a job, and I'm not looking to relocate, but it is interesting. Separately, as part of another Facebook group, I learned that dental issues seem to be relatively common following brain injury. Perhaps the VCU focus group shows that I might want to make the potential target audience larger than just the survivors of TBI.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Life is precious

Life is precious. We have so much energy about trying to preserve it. Many people care for those who have had difficulties. There are many who are concerned. When there are difficult situations, we have to move through. There may be difficult times for Tracy Morgan ahead. Communication is important. Having the ability to convey thoughts is very cool. So much of what Tracy Morgan did as a comic was dependent on his communication abilities. Much is unknown. I wish for the best.

Tracy Morgan's recovery

We have to think positive about Tracy Morgan's recovery. I hope that he will be able to make a full recovery. Hopefully, there won't be a long recovery. If there is alot of brain injury involved, it could be more difficult. Traumatic Brain Injury is a difficult road to go down, but with a lot of support, it is possible to recover. It is way too early to think about possible involvement traumatic amnesia. There could be some difficulties with a kidney transplant a few years ago, and now his need to recover from this. Again, hopefully, there are not too many complications involved. I hope he will do well.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Eating Good Food

We’ve previously been fascinated by Le Cellier in Canada as a dining venue at EPCOT. I guess part of the fascination lies behind the reputation that it is difficult to get in to. We were able to make reservations for 12:45 on a Saturday, when we were looking around on a Friday night. Part of the mystique behind the reservations system I suppose is just the management of expectations. According to the reviews online of the steakhouse, the cheddar cheese soup was very good, and yes, we each had a bowl of the cheddar cheese soup. The bowls were shaped a bit weird, wide at the bottom, and not too deep, versus the tapering usually seen with bowls. The pretzel bread was also good. Since our stomachs are smaller, due to surgeries, I knew that we probably couldn’t have two entrees, so we got one braised short rib, and split it between us. The vegetables were weird, almost undercooked, so they could retain the “cute little spherical shapes that they were cut up into”.

After that, we walked around world showcase, then to the monorail system to Magic Kingdom (thank goodness for park hopping) and I got a cookie ice cream sandwich. My wife had some of the cookie ice cream sandwich as well. During the time at Magic Kingdom, there was also the 3pm Mickey Parade down main street, USA, which we kind of saw some of the excitement around it.

We also made plans to go to the Mardi Gras, Lenyrd Skynrd concert at Universal. Seeing the Mardi Gras parade at Universal was really cool. The number of participants who were walking on stilts was impressive. While at Universal, before the Parade, we saw the Terminator ride, and had 2 milk shakes from Mel’s Diner. We walked through the french quarter area and there were vendors, we also got some fried bread, passed off as beignets. I guess it was okay, but not like the beignets we had at New Orleans. Or not as I remember anyway.

The concert wasn’t what I was up for, and I don’t think my wife was either, but we left shortly after the beignets. Oh, previously, we did the Tom McCubbin lecture at the flower and Garden festival, and we got two cute little mini garden-like things. We saw maybe how to get around the area, and where the hotel that we will be staying at is. So, my pedometer says that yesterday, we walked 17,099 steps. I guess that’s a good amount. It made for a long day, doing multiple theme parks. It was a fun day though.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

TBI Survivor Marty #15



A video about me and a box drum.  I like the process of making musical sounds.  I like the musical instruments.  I think the sounds are cool.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Food and teeth

Man, I forgot how good mashed potatoes and chicken gravy from gladstone's chicken was. I separated the dark meat from the bones, and put it into the Vitamix Blender, and it's a smooth consistency. Man, it is really really good. Having plastic bridges covering the reduced teeth, while the crowns are being created is concerning. I've tried eating a banana muffin, and had the bridge come loose, so I'm extra cautious. The high end blender seems to do a heck of a job. I like the design principles, and the wide base. My parents got one, and I'd been looking at a couple of them, at Williams-Sonoma, and decided to splurge. It did a good job with the microwaved vegetables, and a good job with the chicken mashed potatoes and gravy. We've used mom's to blend up some soup, and make it easier to consume. I'll probably add the rest of the chicken to the mixture before long. I am happier now that I've found some flavors that taste quite nice.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sebelius

Supposedly, HHS Director Kathleen Sebelius might have misspoke. I wondered, But supposedly, the fine folks at Buzzfeed and the Washington post may have implied that she could voluntarily give up medicare, and forgo employer contributions in order to choose a plan.

Who knows?

The process of extensive dental work

Something is probably to be said about the process of extensive dental work. It is expensive. Yes, but it is also interesting how some prosthedontists' offices are trying to make more use of technology. When I first got the news about the need to do 6 or so crowns for my front teeth, I was discouraged, and mostly supposing that the dentist was mostly seeing dollar signs. Then I went to a second dentist for a second opinion, he took a look inside of my mouth, and quickly concluded that it was too complicated of a case for him to get involved with. He did refer me to a friend of his, who is a prosthedontist. I went to this fellow, and he was not part of the dental insurance plan, at the time, so I asked about some other prosthedontists, and he said that this other guy is good, and he has a dental lab as part of the practice (another guy wasn't as good, as his practice was based out of a strip mall, or whatever). So, in trying to get the best fit for the future crowns digital scans and 3D computer images were taken. I guess the system is new to the prosthedontist, so they want to see me again. Teeth are important. I see that the temporary crowns look nice. Maybe the ability of people to pay for major dental work may be less for some people, maybe the plans most people have (if they have) cover less.

I mentioned to a co-worker about going to a prosthedontist, and that drew a sharp inhale, followed by "Well, I think prosthedontist is a couple of specialties above dentist, periodontist, orthodontist, whatever else." There might have been mention made about possibly needing to take out a construction loan, to finance it. I am fortunate in that my credit score is good, and we do a pretty good job of making payments on debts.

I like my job. Technology is pretty neat.

Which brings me back around to observing all of the processes which go on at a prosthedontist's office. There appear to be multiple practitioners, assisting with a variety of tasks, and that doesn't even really look back in the dental lab area. It is interesting how people contribute to operations which help the wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lou Reed RIP

Legendary rock musician Lou Reed has died at 71 from complications following a liver transplant Sun, 27 Oct 2013 19:21:11 GMT - This is a developing story and we expect to have more information soon. Go to NBCNews.com for further developments. I guess some people live hard and party hard, and then try to prolong life. I wonder when Lou had his liver Transplant. (Hmm, wikipedia) OK, April 2013 he had the liver transplant.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Cake Boss cake from BJ's Warehouse Club

I was going back and forth about value for the purchase of the cake. After all, the Duff's ice cream with cake pieces sells in the neighborhood of one fifth to one sixth of the price. Granted, we aren't talking about the same thing. Ice cream is inherently different from cake. Cake is different from Cheesecake. My wife wanted me to get the cake because this has been a recurring theme where I'd be excited, and back away when trying to compare the value proposition of getting the cake. I did get the Va-Va-Va Velvet cake, and the small piece I had told me that it was worth it. The Cake Boss had different types of cake, but when we were at the store, the red velvet was the only one available. There is a seven layer carrot cake available from Mitchell's Fish Market which is ablsolutely awesome. And that cake is also very expensive, but I guess the ingredients to some cakes are more than others. And the market will bare what the market will bare.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What happens when the *S* hits the fan?

Imagine that the self-inflicted shutdown furlough stretches on for awhile, and then the *S* hits the fan. Who is to blame? What really happened? Why didn't we know more about what was happening? It doesn't have to be something as big as a Mumbai style attack, nor something similar to a Westgate mall in Nairobi. It doesn't have to be a zero-day exploit taking advantage of some network vulnerability. Who will own the problem? Will our ability to deal with what happens next be impacted by reduced staffing levels? I'm not an expert, and people say I worry too much, but I would not like for stuff to start to go wrong while the nation is at a reduced staffing level. Many people will probably be ready to return when needed, barring mass casualties. We don't need to engage in this self-immolation.
Technology is good. Having dominance is good, but to have half of the team sitting on the sidelines doesn't really make much sense.
Criminal behaviors are one thing, international disputes could be another area. I'm not going to think about things that could go wrong with having aircraft inspectors, food safety inspectors, and epidemiologists on the sidelines. Most likely nothing will happen during this short time frame where our vision and hearing is reduced.
If you see something, say something.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

I like travel

I like travel. I like going to different places, and staying at a hotel. It can be nice. Getting away from the daily responsibilities at work can be nice some of the time. Previously, we've been to Orlando, and stayed at a few different places near there, mostly to do Disney. Frequently, we would choose not to stay over, and make to trip back and forth. But Hotel hopping at Disney can be kind of fun. There are different restaurants near the different Disney properties, which is interesting as well.

I like food. I like the tastes, smells. I like a couple of the "better" grocery stores around. We pretty much enjoy the Publix Greenwise Marketplace, near the trendy neighborhood of Hype Park in Tampa. Last night we picked up some meals from the butcher shop, mostly just meat prepared, ready to be stuck into the oven.

We also have done the Fresh Market near Dale Mabry and Fletcher, which has some other pre-packaged meals waiting to be heated. I picked up some Thai Noodles which was surprisingly good. I thought that it might have been trickier eating, considering I am just about one and a half weeks following some oral surgery, crown lengthening, in preparation for some extensive crowns. Youtube has videos of many things. I wouldn't suggest looking for videos of crown lengthening procedures prior to having it done. The pain medications are okay.

I guess the big thing they worry about is the healing processes. Making sure the surgical site (mouth) doesn't get infected, injured.

I've found a few hotels here in Tampa with restaurants that have some nice things on the menu. I like the French Onion Soup at Mangroves at Embassy Suites on USF's campus. I've also found French Onion Soup at Crisper's (salad place) was pretty good as well.

Travel should be fun moving forward.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Affordable Care Act

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/09/19/health/the-high-costs-of-complexity-in-health-care-reform/?ref=HealthBox I get that healthcare is a big complicated mess. I get that it can be expensive to pay for health care services. I'm not sure that there is an ideal solution. I don't know that people who are unemployed will be able to afford even co-payments for doctors visits, and stuff like that.
I get that part of the reason that people go into Medicine for a career is so that they can get a pretty good job, and hopefully help others to live healthy productive lives, by encouraging the use of some medications to treat some conditions. Encouraging people to stop smoking, and not drink as many alcoholic drinks if one wishes to live a long life.
Some diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, come from eating too much.
There are still some people who choose to live in situations which are likelier than not to lead toward an earlier death. Many forms of drug addiction might fall into this category. Those who don't have a stable mailing address are perhaps also more problematic to engage with.
I don't think that the current proposal to defund the package of the affordable care act is particularly beneficial to those who are seeking to do so at this time. The fact that it was written and passed through congress is in and of itself impressive. If the republicans want to reduce funding provided for implementation, they can probably do that, but to try to eliminate the funding is silly.
Congress should pass bills, which keep parts of the federal government running. I believe they may have done so with the department of defense, but I don't think the other departments have had their funding levels approved. Which to me seems kind of odd.

Promising Events

Promising Events.
So much in life is lived with a hope for a better future. Trying to become part of that brighter future, for many probably is a big reason to continue. At work, there was a big innovation submission idea program, which used a lot of technology to accept ideas for proposals aimed at trying to improve efficiencies, and trying to improve conditions and help with cost containment.
I submitted an idea about trying to improve the communication between management and employees through greater use of blogs and whatnot, but what was really exciting was seeing a proposal from one of the R&D guys about trying to make use of Google Glass with some of the TBI folks to determine if it can help with way finding and situational awareness. Naturally, a goal would be to help increase the speed of community reintegration.
I engaged the R&D guy in some e-mail communication, and he's a big wheel in the organization, so I was curious as to why the suggestion was made, and he told me that as an administrator, he doesn't do research, the proposal would need to come from a researcher, and be peer reviewed and funded.
As I think I can see the value of the google glass proposal, I also recognize that the costs of the devices are likely high, but I'm just a consumer electronics guy looking at things, not really thinking about the quality of life improvements that could be made. How to justify quality of life improvements on in terms of rehabilitation potentials.
As a rehabilitating TBI survivor type-of-individual, I think it's an awesome idea. I am a big advocate of making greater use of technologies to improve Quality of life measures.
I've wanted to get involved with some of the stuff at work, but as work is, my supervisory chain of command can't allow me to do other stuff. Oh well. It is interesting to be aware of other things happening in rehabilitation spaces.
I like being employed. Contributing to the operations of the computer department by processing laptops is pretty good.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Chinese Tourists

Chinese Tourists.
I was reading, and I came across this from the NYTimes:
To judge from the grumbling across the globe, such guidelines may be necessary. But the greatest opprobrium seems to be coming from fellow Chinese. In May, a mainland Chinese tourist in Luxor, Egypt, discovered that a compatriot had carved his own hieroglyphics on the wall of a 3,500-year-old temple. “Ding Jinhao was here,” it declared. A photo of the offending scrawl spread rapidly on Chinese social media, and outraged citizens tracked down the 15-year-old vandal. The uproar subsided after his parents issued a public apology.
I'm sorry, but to me that seems pretty funny. I'm sure that the archeologists weren't appreciative of the vandalism. Still, it is a little bit humorous. Imagining the Chinese characters alongside the hieroglyphs.
I realize from our visits to other natinal parks, and have been scolded against taking souvenir rocks from death valley, or wherever, "Imagine what would happen if each of the tourists took a rock." A similar thing could apply to Chinese graffitti.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Yesterday was a good day

Yesterday, we started out that we were going to take advantage of a groupon offer to tour the American Victory ship museum (a WWII ship anchored near Downtown Tampa).  We didn't know that Traffic from SR 60 would be as bad as it was.  We ended up saying enough of this, instead we went to the outlet mall at Ellenton.  Before that though, we had lunch at IKEA Tampa.  We split an order of swedish meatballs.  We didn't even eat the whole order of swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes and lingonberries jelly.  It was good.  This morning, we finished moving the garage stuff around, and painting an epoxy coat on our floor.  The silver gray color of the epoxy floor looks good.  We just got the one step epoxy from Home Depot.  The Home Depot paint sales lady told us that the paint should be drivable on in about 5 days, walkable in 3.  I guess it's been about 8 and a half days since the car part of the garage had a car on top of it.  I guess the heat from the tires is usually what causes issues.  I hope the epoxy floors hold up.

Yesterday, we also drove to Sarasota, and saw the kissing sailor statue back near Marina Jack's.    It had been removed because it was struck by a motorist.  We saw some pelicans and other birds in trees near Mote Marine laboratory.   We also stopped near Longboat Key, and walked to the beach, where there were several birds at the shore line, feeding.  It was cool.  I enjoyed that part of the early evening.  I really like observing nature, and birds in particular.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

http://martysalo.wordpress.com/2013/08/11/my-world-is-small/

I consider my world to be relatively small.  Due to limited reflexes, processing, or whatever other factors, I choose not to drive, because an accident put things into perspective, and the costs of insurance would likely be too high.  I can adjust to living in a small world, but it is nice that I have a wife who can drive, and take me places.  

Yesterday, we went to Wright's Gourmet Sandwiches, and the Monte Cristo sandwich that I got there was quite large, I had a quarter of the sandwich, and put the other 3/4s of the sandwich away.   I put them in little tubbies, and surprisingly, they fit kind of well.  This morning, I fixed a second quarter of the sandwich.  I guess it has Turkey and Ham, Cheese and pickles, along with mustard and whatever else they use as condiments.  

We have found a very nice place for cakes in Tampa.  Sweet Tweets Cakery at North Dale Mabry has some cupcakes that are really nice.  www.sweettweetscakery.com is the website, and the cupcakes are better, in my opinion than Gigi's Cupcakes.  Gigi's has good cupcakes, but I think the amount of frosting is a bit over the top.  There are a couple of Gigi's cupcakes around in town, so they may be a franchise.  www.gigiscupcakesusa.com is the website.

I live close to work, so I usually walk home from work.  My wife usually drops me off in the morning.  I work at a hospital.  I think it would be really cool if they'd do more to embrace the technology, and have a blog about construction and future plans for the facility.  But maybe that's just me.  I think that people are much more excited to continue working toward something if there is a reasonable expectation that things will get better, or improve, or be different.  The communication from leadership down to lower levels seems to not be very robust.  It is probably more of a job for the public affairs department than for me in IT.  I see the possibilities, and I think it would be so cool.  Photos do a better job of conveying progress.  It would be cool to have some sort of photo-documentary of the progress of changes.

I suppose that I've spoken with several of the members of the leadership team at the hospital about my idea, but as of yet, the idea hasn't taken off.  I was excited to see that the VA facility in Palo Alto had some pictures of construction activities over there.  The facebook page of Palo Alto's is a bit more impressive.  Maybe it's just a factor of where they are.  One would almost expect that they'd be closer to the center of what's happening, being that they are where they are.

I am happy to be doing IT support.  I recognize that there are many worse places that I could be--many worse jobs that I could be stuck doing.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

We had a good time at Orlando/Downtown Disney on Saturday

We had a good time at Orlando/Downtown Disney on Saturday. They are in the process of building two parking garages where some surface lots were. Presumably, this will add significant numbers of parking spaces to the Downtown Disney area. I'm not sure what the time table for getting those parking lots constructed is.
Splitsville, a big bowling alley, dining establishment looks like a pretty cool addition to Downtown Disney. We didn't eat there, yet, but that's okay. We've eaten enough, and we're trying to still eat less, and lose weight. I recently got a new scale. This one uses a 9 volt battery, the previous scale was using a lithium battery I guess. I'll see how it performs over a longer period.
We took the bus from one end of Downtown Disney to Old Key West, a part of the Disney Vacation Club, as near as I can figure out. From OKW, we took the water taxi back to Downtown Disney, and it was pretty cool. I liked riding the boat launch back. Pictures from the water are pretty neat.
One of the areas where I think much could be done to improve communication about what is going on at work is to introduce a blog about mostly the new construction. I work at a hospital, and there have been a number of construction projects which have been going on. I think having a blog for helping to communicate changes would be a very good thing. Many people probably wouldn't be too interested about it, but I think that if pictures of new entrance ways, and stuff were included, it could be highly beneficial.
I was encouraged that another VA facility (Palo Alto) had some pictures recently of some of the construction projects, and they shared some of those on the facebook site of that facility. I met with the hospital Director recently, and shared with her, my idea for improving communication about changes at the facility, and I was impressed that she at least got some of the ideas about a two way communication stream generally with blogs. Who knows if much will happen with my idea for improving communication at the hospital, or my idea of highlighting some of the successes we've had with helping to improve the lives of veterans. I'm sure that more could be done.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

I had a nice Google Plus hangout with a kind lady from some part of England

I had a nice Google Plus Hangout with a kind lady from England who is a carer for a stroke survivor, and the fact that she reached out to say hello was very nice in my opinion. I like the fact that the computer technology enables communication much easier. I'd like to see more being done with computer mediated communications technologies at work, with the patients, but I realize that I am just a piece of the machine.
I like what the VA at Palo Alto has done with listing construction activities on the public facing website.
http://www.paloalto.va.gov/construction_paloalto.asp it looks like a pretty impressive list of construction projects going on. I guess the public affairs part is doing a pretty good job with things over there. I'd think that more could be done, indeed, being right near facebook, Apple, Google, whatever else in the Silicon Valley entails, it's sort of expected I guess. I like the freedom from discrimination that the computer mediated communications tends to afford me. I'm reasonably sure that there are probably some others who might experience a similar level of joy. Communicating via Google Plus Hangout kind of reintroduces many of the factors of slow speech which might add to possible discrimination, but whatever.
I guess I can continue to try to win friends and influence others through interaction.

Snowden gets some freedom to move around Moscow.

I guess Edward Snowden got some freedom to move around Moscow, possibly Russia. I suppose that he'll discover how the Russians deal with dissent. Maybe he could have discovered it if he paid attention to the Pussy Riot, blasphemy case. Rage against the machine indeed.
Maybe he will keep his nose clean, and he won't be messed with by the Russian spies and counter-intelligence fellows. Somehow, I tend to think that Wikileaks will be less effective in trying to protect him. Maybe he has gained an appreciation of the system he now finds himself in. Right now, the temperatures might be okay, but I'd suspect that before too long, it'll get very cold. Maybe the language will come easy for him. Maybe he will be able to go on to Venezuela.

When the power goes out

When the power goes out, life quiets down. Fortunately, the power doesn't go out too frequently around here, but still, when it does, TV stops, and most cooking stops. When power is not quickly restorable, then it starts to get uncomfortably warm here in Tampa, FL. Usually, though, the power gets restored before too long. An exception was when larger areas were down simultaneously with 3 tropical systems passing through Florida and just a lot of damage.

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