Giant Cell Tumor and Doctors

Let’s talk for a minute about doctors.

I live in a town of approximately 100,000 people in central Oregon. When I was diagnosed with a bone tumor at one of the two orthopedists in the city, I was straight away handed my file and x-rays and referred out to specialists in Portland, Seattle and even Texas, because there’s literally no one in my hometown who is qualified to treat my GCT. I ultimately chose to have it handled at Shands in Florida, for a variety of reasons; I have family working in that organization who helped fast track my case, I have family in Florida who could put us up and assist with recovery and, most important of all, Shands is a learning hospital that has a surgeon on staff who specializes in rare tumors including GCT.

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Windows 10, NVidia, and Paint Shop Pro

I’m a luddite – I love Paint Shop Pro 9. Yeah, I use Illustrator and Photoshop and Inkscape and Gimp and all that goodness but, in a pinch, PSP9’s been my go-to quick and dirty image manipulator forever.

Then I got a fancy new laptop with a fancy new video card… and PSP9 wouldn’t work. It wouldn’t produce a window on launch, even though I could see it there in the task manager, running. And when I uninstalled and tried to reinstall, it hung for infinity on “registering modules.”

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RW Elephant Inventory WordPress Plugin and Divi

This is an obscure one. I have a client that uses this combination for their business. RW Elephant put out their new plugin v2x rather than update their old v1x plugin, and it’s basically like starting over. Honestly, configuration worked pretty well, but there were some problems. Firstly, it defaulted to full browser width on its primary inventory screens, which looked like poop. This was fixed by heading to their rw-elephant.min.css in wp-content\plugins\rw-elephant-retail-inventory\lib\assets\css and changing the .rwe-inventory margin setting to auto and width to 80% in order to shrink and align the inventory content.

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No-IP DUC (Dynamic Update Client) for Raspberry Pi as a Service

I originally followed No-IP’s instructions for installing their DUC on a Raspberry Pi, and thought things were fine until I discovered upon IP change that updates weren’t. Updating, that is. With a little research I came across this extremely helpful site which outlines how to install the No-IP DUC as a service on Raspbian. Be aware, the instructions start from scratch, assuming that you don’t have the DUC installed yet.

For the bit highlighted above, you’re going to instead want to navigate to whatever the directory is that your DUC installation dir is within. In other words, if the NoIP DUC lives in /home/pi/noip/noip/noip-2.1.9-1 you’re going to want to navigate to /home/pi/noip before pulling down and unpacking that .tar as instructed in line 2/3 there. Other than that, this worked like a champ. Thanks site person!

OpenVPN – Importing OVPN configs in Windows

Turns out that OpenVPN doesn’t store imported .ovpn files in its usual path (meaning, C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config). Instead it installs them in:

C:\Users\USERNAME\OpenVPN\config\OVPNFILENAME\ovpnfilename.ovpn

At least this is the case for me thus far regarding Windows 10.

VisualCron – Powershell Network Path Truncation

I set up a VisualCron job to kick off a Powershell script to reach out to certain directories – built dynamically from an array – to check for content. The script ran perfectly when invoked manually, but through VisualCron it would error out with a truncated path:

The above path should have been \\atldireng03\e$\download\. I just could not get the path to resolve. The script that builds the path looks similar to this:

Ultimately the issue was one of rights. The account VisualCron was utilizing to invoke the script did not have rights to the administrative share path being built by the script. Change the account to an administrator on the remote server and the script ran like a charm. Now, that it would error out with this weird truncated path problem rather than something referring to a lack of sufficient rights is frustrating. I suppose it’s because it could not ‘see’ the path (hence “it does not exist”), but were you to manually attempt to map to a path you hadn’t rights to pretty much all OSes would return you some kind of informative error about insufficient rights. Not here. And for the record, I haven’t tried running the script manually through a Powershell prompt without rights to the paths to see what happens. It’s entirely probable this uninformative error is on Powershell’s side and not VisualCron.

Social Media in 2019

I don’t set resolutions – because calling anything that ensures they won’t be met – but I’m weaning from social media, especially Facebook.  Because it’s tied to our pet sitting business and because too many bands and venues and events and such insist on using Facebook to disseminate information, I want/need to keep my actual account.  For now, anyway.  Since it’s an addiction, my brain keeps conjuring excuses to continue to interact with Facebook.  But as I work my way backwards through my online life, purging my pics and my posts from the site, I’ve discovered unexpected encouragement to see the process through. 

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Giant Cell Tumor – A Year On

My surgery for GCT happened in December of 2017. It’s officially been over a year.

The knee/leg remains problematic. There’s still a significant dead spot due to nerve damage. It’s still prone to becoming sore and tender, and hasn’t the range of movement of its counterpart. It still doesn’t feel normal, like it used to. It doesn’t feel completely right. At this point, a year on, I wonder if this is the new normal. If you’ve read my previous posts, this isn’t news to you.

Over the holidays I spent a couple of weeks helping the in-laws prepare their house for sale, doing frankly quite a bit more manual labor in successive days than I have since the surgery. The area on the outside of my knee, the around the LCL, became painfully sore. This frightened me, because this is the pain I had started experiencing prior to my tumor diagnosis. Weird, since the tumor is on the inside of my leg, but perhaps the irritation came from unconscious favoring or compensating. At any rate, I opted to take a few days and chill on the labor. The pain subsided, but then I went for a mountain bike ride. By the time I’d returned from it the pain was sufficient to effect my walking. My limp was back. That was over a week ago, and while I’m not limping regularly now, it’s still tender. I’m not going down the stairs evenly as I was. Sitting still for any length of time causes it to stiffen up. To be fair, it’s quite cold here now, and that may be contributing to the stiffness.

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TTRSS – Call to undefined function mcrypt_decrypt()

I upgraded my TTRSS installation to PHP 7.2, and suddenly I started seeing this pop up when it would attempt to update certain feeds:

When I’d click on those feeds to try and edit them, I’d get this:

Basically something akin to this:

Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Call to undefined function mcrypt_decrypt() in …/include/crypt.php:12 Stack trace: #0 …/classes/pref/feeds.php(633): decrypt_string(‘+rn7weUKbTMS3Ks…’) #1 …/backend.php(130): Pref_Feeds->editfeed() #2 {main} thrown in …/include/crypt.php on line 12

I did a little digging and discovered that mcrypt is defunct in PHP 7.2. Threads on the TTRSS forum spoke of hitting update.php with an argument via command line, but I don’t have command line access to my installation. I dared not ask on the forum as while I love TTRSS, those on the forum are notoriously self-important and assholey, happier to lambast you for being an idiot than actually help. Instead, I started doing some poking and discovered that all the feeds causing this problem had one thing in common – a populated auth_pass field in the ttrss_feeds table in the database. I ran a simple:

update ttrss_feeds set auth_pass=”

(After doing some testing, of course) and the problems disappeared. The communications warning went away, feeds started updating, and I could successfully open the edit dialogs on all my feeds.