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Giant Cell Tumor – 11 Months Post Op

This time last year, I’d just discovered I had a bone tumor in my left tibia.  I’d been scheduled to fly to Florida for surgery to occur a year ago next week – a surgery that would wind up being just a biopsy because the tumor contents would appear atypical.  I’d spend the next two weeks in Florida with a leg brace while my biopsy was shipped to various centers around the United States to try to determine whether or not it was cancerous, and what kind of tumor it was.  It would be in the top 5 longest days, and nights, of my life.

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Giant Cell Tumor – 10 months post-op

Winter is coming.  I can feel it in, well, my knee.

I find myself wondering, still, if it’s ever going to feel ‘normal’ again.  Not stiff.  Not tight.  Not sore.  Not tender.  Not fragile.  Not half numb.  Because as of right now, it’s still all of those things.  It’s almost nonsensical how susceptible it is to pain.  The other day I was moving a cabinet in our garage and its door swung open and hit my knee right where the hardware is – and it was like lightning shooting through my leg.  It was an impact that would have gone unnoticed on my other knee.

In the months immediately following surgery I was frustrated and frightened, wondering if I’d ever be able to walk normally again.  Would I be able to bike?  Hike?  Run?  Walk without a limp?

Huge strides have been made since then.  I can bike and hike, albeit not for as far or as long as I once could.  I still do not run, however, and there are still times when I catch myself limping, subconsciously favoring that leg because it feels stiff or sore or simply because it feels fragile.

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Active Directory Account Lockout – Creation – Deletion – Disable monitoring

We’ve used a variety of third party tools to monitor Active Directory domain account changes.  They’ve all either been expensive or kind of sucked (or, unfortunately, both).  But if you’re running a relatively new OS on your controller you can use the magick of Powershell to ship you alerts on account changes!  Powershell can monitor the local Security Event Log on your controller and ship you an email when events matching your description are entered.  Here’s an example Powershell script:

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Tooth Fairy Box

My son’s first loose tooth was *that close* to coming out, and we wanted something special to give him for it.  We’re not the type to start introducing money just yet.  We’re still fostering his creativity and imagination.   He has the rest of his life to covet the almighty dollar – why not give him as much time as possible without that soul sucking force?

So I bought a nice piece of walnut from a woodworking store, borrowed the neighbors band saw, and made this Tooth Fairy box.

Tooth Box 1

I hand sanded it and rubbed the whole thing down with a beeswax finish to give it that deep color.  Within there’s a slot to place the tooth:

Tooth Box 2

…which the Fairy replaces with a magic bead to be used in crafting.  That circle you see is the remains of my attempt to fuse the top and bottom on a swivel dowel.  I was unhappy with the results, so I lopped it apart, sanded it all down, and bought the hinge and clasp at the local hardware store.  I like the result much better than the dowel idea.

I’m pleased with it as a first attempt.  I really want my next house to have a proper workshop so I can begin to slowly amass all the fun tools I’d like to have for projects like this.

Garmin Nuvi 1200 QWERTY

To enable QWERTY your Nuvi 1200, plug it into your computer, head to Keyboards, open the appropriate file in a text editor (in my case, en_US.kbd), find line:

<group name=”QWERTY” priority=”1″ wide_screen_only=”true”>

and change it to

<group name=”QWERTY” priority=”1″ wide_screen_only=”false”>


Here’s stuff I use and like, broken into rough categories.

Full disclosure;  I’m a Windows guy at my day job, but run Linux primarily at home.  Windows 10 gave me the push I needed to ditch Windows on any machine I could.   I favor open source languages, software and development tools.


  • SABnzbd – Old standby I’ve been running for years.  Get your usenet on.
  • CouchPotato – Go one better – automate your usenet.
  • SickBeard – Go two better!
  • Deluge – For when usenet occasionally lets you down.
  • Plex – A hesitant recommendation on this.  No media server does everything I want, the way I want it.  So far Plex comes the closest.

Pale Moon

  • Pale Moon – What’s Pale Moon?  It’s like Firefox, only betterer.
  • Lastpass – Cross browser password manager.
  • Web Developer – An add-on chock full of useful goodness for website development and troubleshooting.
  • Ublock Origin – Best ablocker right now.
  • NoScript – This add-on stops all scripting and cross-scripting from running.  It takes some work to configure (you won’t believe how many domains you’re actually served from when you hit a site like eBay or YouTube) but totally worth it.  This, combined with Ad-Block, is the web prophylactic.
  • IE Tab 2 – Add-on that runs IE within Firefox. Great for those annoying sites that just don’t work in Firefox.  Caution – it’s not emulating Internet Exploder, it’s running it.  Take the necessary precautions and use only when absolutely necessary.


  • Zindus – Keep your contacts in sync.  Technically this is meant to sync Gmail to Thunderbird, but if you don’t currently use Gmail it’s worth opening an account just to use it as the repository for your contacts.  Another winner when it comes to rebuild time.


  • Peerblock – Controls who your machine is willing to talk to on the ‘net.  Frequently updated lists of naughty addresses keep you safe from nefarious suckers and prying eyes.
  • Hotspot Shield – Free as in beer IPSec VPN.  Ad revenue driven – combine with Adblock to keep it at bay.
  • Sandboxie – Technically Sandboxie isn’t free – and I was trying to keep this list narrowed to free stuff only – but the nag after 30 days isn’t bad, and if you need Sandboxie, you need Sandboxie.
  • Pi-Hole – Get yourself a Raspberry Pi, an 8 gig card, and install pi-hole on your local area network. Kiss ads goodbye!

Apps That Work Better Than Their More Well Known And/Or Costly Cousins

  • Foxit – Stop using that ridiculously bloated, confusingly resource intensive Acrobat to read PDFs.  Foxit does it better, smaller and quicker.
  • 7Zip – What do you need to unpack?  Never mind, it doesn’t matter – 7Zip will do it.
  • CDBurnerXP – Don’t let the name fool you, it isn’t just for XP.  It’s small, it’s free, it burns CDs/DVDs.
  • Exact Audio Copy – Rip a CD for free.  To get the most out of EAC you’ll also need:
  • LAME – The best MP3 encoder out there.  Link leads to the SourceForge entry listing sites that offer the binaries Windows users need.
  • SlySoft Virtual Clonedrive – Don’t burn that image to actual media if you’re just gonna install it once and trash it – mount it as a virtual drive!
  • Notepad++ – Code editor, text manipulator, notepad replacement.  I write everything from CSS to Perl in Notepad++.
  • Handbrake – Ultra awesome cross OS video transcoder.

iPhone Stuff (mostly applies to Jailbroken)

  • YouMail – YouMail integrates with your phone and becomes your voicemail box.  Listen to voicemail online, listen to it on your phone,  download it to your phone, mail it to yourself or someone else, you name it.  It’s what voicemail ought to be.  As an added bonus, it can creep out the people in your address book because it creates custom greetings including their name.
  • Evernote – I use Evernote to sync information between my machines and my Blackberry.  Honestly, it kind of sucks – as do all its competitors.  The client crashed so often on my 64bit Winders 7 machine that I took it off and only use the web app.  It’s only a matter of time before someone builds a better mousetrap here.
  • Installous – from the Hackulous repository.
  • iSHSHit – Mail yourself your SHSH blob quick!  You’ll probably need the modmyi repo.
  • iBye – Back up your phone apps.  Modmyi repo.


  • My Cycling Log –  I keep track of my rides, including commutes, here.
  • BikeWire – I also keep track of my rides here, just as a backup.
  • Runkeeper – Not the deepest, but combined with the free iPhone app it gets the job done.
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tentencomputer · web · infrastructure · server · soup · nuts

“They say the bigger the headache, the bigger the pill!” – Parliament – Dr. Funkenstein

Over 20 years of experience in all facets of Information Technology at your disposal. Current projects include,,,, and Past projects include everything from website design to full medical office IT administration.

What can I do for you? Fix your computer, build your website, configure your network, administer your infrastructure? I’m always looking for interesting new projects. I’m also not opposed to working for trade. What can we do for each other?  Just give me a shout and we can chat about it.

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