— pissing into the wind

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Incremental improvements this week. I’m able to use my arm for most tasks again, but I’m still trying to not put any load or weight on it until I get the all clear from my doctor. The follow up appointment is in a few days. My wrist pain is still there as well, but it seems to be getting better day by day. I’m still going to ask about it. I’ve also noticed some weird mass in my elbow that I can move around and is causing some pain. I’m definitely going to ask about it as well. The numbness is still there, but I can tell that it’s getting better as well.

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Things are still improving slowly. I’m able to straighten out my arm without much pain anymore and almost turn it palm up. I still have to take it easy with lifting things on it. There still a lot of pain in my wrist when I flex it downwards and I’m beginning to think I may have fractured it when I fell, but was more focused on the torn bicep in the immediate aftermath. My follow-up appointment is next week, and I’m going to ask the doctor to look at the wrist then. I’m just going to be extremely careful with it in the meantime. The soreness in the arm in the mornings is mostly gone at this time. I can engage the bicep now and flex it although it is still pretty flat compared to my other arm. I’m still keeping my arm in a sling as a precaution, but things are feeling better overall. The numbness from the incision to my thumb is still there, but not as pronounced on my hand.

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Not much changed this week. I’m still in a sling not using my arm as much as possible. The numbness is still there. I can’t tell if it’s getting better. The blood spots from surgery have cleared up significantly and it doesn’t look anywhere as hideous as it did when I got the splint removed 4 days ago. My arm is pretty sore when I wake up, but it usually clears up after by the time I finish my first cup of coffee in the morning.

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I tore my left distal bicep on July 26 and had repair surgery on it on the 29th. I’m going to document my recovery here to track progress.

There’s a lot of good info here.

This is the day after. The bruising wasn’t initially there. I’m trying to highlight how you can see the tendon has detached from the bone.

I can’t say much about my surgical experience as I was put under and have a 4 hour gap when the surgery took place. The most common procedure for this type of injury involves making an incision in your forearm, reaching up into the bicep to pull the muscle back down, drilling a hole in your forearm, and then inserting the tendon into the bone. According to the surgeon, everything went well. I’ll have to take his word for it. My medical bill was $36K, but after insurance I was on the hook for only $2K.

After the surgery, I was in a splint and sling until my follow-up appointment about a week and a half later. The main concerns at this point are to keep all pressure off the arm and keep it dry. You want to give the reattached bicep time to heal properly. DO NOT USE THE ARM. Thankfully, my wife helped me out quite a bit. It was pretty humbling to have to ask for help for things like soaping my armpit in the shower.

The day after surgery

The splint was removed on August 9, but I’m in the sling for a while longer. The doctor wants me to try slowly extending the arm several times a day but keep it in the sling otherwise. At this point I can use the arm to lift no more than a cup of coffee. There’s a numbness on the thumb side of my forearm from below the incision to about where my thumb begins on the back of my hand. It just feels like I got local anesthesia in the area. This is a common condition post-surgery as a nerve in the area is stretched during the procedure. My grip felt weak when I first got the splint off, but feels normal now. I cannot move my left arm in a palm up position and fully extending the arm is out of the question.

Splint off!

I can’t flex my injured bicep and it is noticeably flatter. My tricep looks to be totally disengaged as well.

Injured arm (obviously)
Normal arm

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Migrated to a new web host today and everything went pretty smooth. Used the Duplicator plugin to move the blog over. I ended up having to get the pro version because I set this up as multisite a long time ago when there were multiple users. It was only $79, worked flawlessly, and saved me a lot of time and headache, so money well spent to me.

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I’ve been a longtime fan of Windows Live Writer for many years.  Alas, it has been unsupported for many moons and I haven’t been able to get it working with SSL.  The good news is that Microsoft decided to release WLW to the open source community.  The even better news is that someone has forked the code and taken up the mantle.  If you’re an existing Windows Live Writer, I suggest you give Open Live Writer a try.  The setup and user interface will be familiar and things seem to work overall.

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I’ve watched a few episodes of Hell’s Kitchen in my day and one thing that always got to me was how those poor schmucks just let Gordon Ramsey rail into them.  I always thought, “Have some goddamned respect for yourselves, people!”  Then I got this job.  After turning 16, I can’t recall the last time someone I know yelled at me in sheer anger.  But it seems to keep happening here.  Crisis after fucking crisis.  So I’ve decided to have some goddamn respect for myself and am convinced that no retirement package (that I can get anyway since I don’t go for C-level positions) is worth the level of stress and humiliation I’m getting here.  So off I go and back to the space in between.

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My wife is due April 13!  It’s a girl and I’m excited.  I’ll post more later.  I’m really just making sure I’ve setup my blog client correctly on my new badass (I’m going to reread this post in 3 years and laugh at these specs) Core i7 3770K, 16GB desktop!  No Windows 8 though.  I tried it and it’s not for me.  I didn’t realize how much I use the Start menu until it was gone.  I suppose I could just learn more keyboard shortcuts… w/e.

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This was supposed to be a year in review post, but I don’t feel like doing that right now.  I’m trying to make a job decision right now, and I’m a little lost.  The background is that I’m in a contract to hire position right now and we’re in the “to hire” phase of it all.  I was pretty excited to get to this point until I was given an offer by HR that amounted to a 28% salary reduction.  Even after factoring in the benefits package as a whole, the number is just ridiculous.  I let my manager know how I feel, but the number hasn’t moved. 

I’ve also expressed interest in a network engineer position (currently a windows engineer).  So now I have a decision to make: 1) Stay contractor as a windows engineer for however long they’ll let me (might just be 2 weeks for all I know) or 2) take the network engineer spot and keep looking.  all roads lead me to looking for a new job, though.  the big variable is how long I can stay a contractor.  I could say I’ll just stay a contractor and 2 weeks later they just force my hand. then I’ll just be looking for a new job at the lower rate anyway but doing something I’d rather not be doing.

as bill o’reilly would say, “THIS FUCKING THING SUCKS!!”

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I need to find a job where I can work from home occasionally and wear jeans and a t-shirt (polo at the most) when I do have to go into the office.  Oh and it can’t be Rackspace because fuck you.

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I just bought a house, so expect to see more details about how I delve into home automation.  Here’s one of the first bits of improvement we’re doing though.

This is a patch of carpet in the master bath.  I don’t understand what carpet is doing in the middle of such a humid/wet room.  I think the original intent of the builder was to put a tub there, but the homeowner didn’t want one.

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Out with the old.

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My father-in-law and I ripping up the carpet.

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Originally we were just going to put regular tile in the middle and cut as needed.  Then the idea morphed into doing something with mosaic.  Then we thought to just get some rounded tile and put it in.  Then we came across this while at the tile store.

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Getting it all centered.

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Proof of concept.

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Bam.

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My father in law did about 90% of the work.  I’d come home from work and more and more would be done.

I do plan on taking care of the home automation on my own though.

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I’m starting a new job in a couple weeks.  This is the first time I’ve had to deal with counteroffers and the whole thing has left a bittersweet taste in my mouth.  The big takeaway from the experience for me is this:  unless the SOLE reason for looking elsewhere is financial, once you start down the path and give your resignation, there is no going back.  Even then I’d still be wary of accepting a counteroffer from your current employer.  The second you give a hint that you’d leave, you become a liability and a risk.  You’ve demonstrated you are willing and able to walk away from all the investment the business has put into you as an employee.

My reason for leaving was one of wanting more professional development.  The work I’m doing now isn’t very technical in nature, but technical work is what I want to do.  I’m happiest when I’m deep in command lines.  I walked into my boss’s office and let him know my reasons for wanting to leave.  There wasn’t much financial incentive, just the potential for work in things I’m more interested in.  He said he could pull me from my current project and put me on other things that I should find more interesting.  Sounded great to me, so I went to decline the offer from the potential new employer.  They then threw money at the problem and I had to give a lot more weight to the financial aspect of it. 

The next day I went to work prepared to give my boss the bad news.  However, he called me into his office before I went to see him.  He’d been thinking about our conversation and decided that maybe I should take that offer after all.  He didn’t want to have to worry about me being happy all the time.  From his tone and what he was saying, I thought he was going to let me go right then and there.  I let him know the other company countered and I was going to accept their offer then.  We shook hands and I gave a formal 2-week notice letter a day later.  Ultimately, he did make me feel like a cog in a money-making machine, and no, I’m not naïve and I do understand that that’s what a business is supposed to do.

Imagine if the other company did not counteroffer.  I’d have been pretty screwed at that point.  It worked out in my favor this time, but I certainly was not aware of the stakes at that point and what cards each player was holding at the time.

So now I’m in the space in between again.  I don’t really believe the 2-week notice thing anymore and I hate feeling like a lame duck, but here I am.  For now.

 

On another note, I was looking back at frustrated I was last year just trying to get a job and people are bidding on me now.  It’s funny how things ultimately work out.

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