Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Plasma replacement therapy/platelet rich plasma injections

Almost 2 years ago, I tore tendons in my groin. Like a jackass, I played through it and made it much worse. By the time someone looked (using an ultrasound), the tear was 4mm long and had no interest in healing. Basically it was a scarred mess that my body had given up on fixing. It always hurt some...especially the day after activity but even when standing or stretching.

As an active guy, this was pure hell. I sought every witch doctor and treatment in the land and eventually, a real doctor recommended one of two options: dry needling or platelet rich plasma treatments.

Dry needling had the advantage of being totally covered by my insurance. Using dry needling, a doctor pulls up the injury on an ultrasound and then directs the needle to the tear using the ultrasound. The doctor tears up the scar tissue with the needle (re-injuring the body) in order to restart the healing process.

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections are somewhat similar. First, the doctor draws your blood. Then he spins it in a centrifuge to get a concentration of platelets. That's important because platelets are critical in the healing process--they are the heavy lifters in the healing cascade. Again, the doctor locates the tear using the ultrasound, and directs a needle to the location of the tear. In PRP, the doctor uses a smaller needle than dry needling, but also pokes the injured area from a few directions--reinjuring the area but at the same time, injecting some of the platelets into the injured area to kick the healing up a notch. Unfortunately, PRP is currently not covered by most insurance (I have a kick ass plan) and can cost $250-$750 per treatment. For tendon tears, 2-3 visits are required.

Given the choice between dry needling and PRP, I chose the later. To me, it made sense.

The blood draw is nothing. The needle to the tendon (in my case, groin) is painful but some novacaine takes the edge off and it wasn't bad. Post-needle, tylenol (you can't take motrin or other anti-infalmmatories because you want the blood to flow to the area) takes the edge off and was fine for me. My doc was willing tot give me more for the pain but I didn't need it. I was back to swimming and light gym work in a couple days.

2 treatments and 3 months after the initial treatment, my 2-year old tendon tear is 100% healed. If you're in the Philadelphia area, drop me an email and I'll be happy to recommend my doctor. Otherwise, make sure that you get a doctor who knows how to use the ultrasound (the critical component) and has done this before.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Ramblings of a Former Eagles Fan

If I hear one more person say that Michael Vick made a "mistake" and that everyone deserves a second chance, I could go postal. Michael Vick did not make a "mistake." He did not take his eyes off the road and run a stop sign, or unintentionally misspell a word in his memoir or in a plea agreement. He purposefully and intentionally tortured and killed defenseless animals for his amusement and profit. As if playing starting QB in the NFL was not amusing and profitable enough. When it was convenient for him, he denied any involvement, and when it ceased being convenient, he told the truth, cut a deal to reduce his jail time, and pretended to be contrite about his reprehensible behavior.

Furthermore, everyone does not "deserve" a second chance. Did Josef Mengele? Did Jeffrey Dahmer? Afraid not. And neither does Michael Vick. Indeed, he gave his victims no second chances. But let's be real folks. Michael Vick has already received his second chance when he regained his freedom. If he is truly contrite, he'll prove it to us with his actions "off the field."

Playing in the NFL is a privilege and not a sacrosanct right. Michael Vick should have lost the right to enjoy that privilege. I for one am exercising my right and am voting with my feet. The Eagles are dead to me. I hope they join the Lions at 0-16 and re-locate to LA or Boston or wherever else Jeffrey Lurie would prefer to move his (but no longer my) team.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Google desktop won't index your old Outlook email?

Let's face it. No one would ever choose to use Outlook but in many work environments, we're forced to. And why does Outlook suck the most? The email search capability is shit. Which is why I love Google Desktop. I use it all the time to find emails on topics from years ago.

Recently I underwent a laptop upgrade. Here in our office, the Administrator controls most everything and they installed all my software, including Google desktop. Once desktop was done indexing, I noticed that when I searched my emails, no old results popped up. When I checked the desktop index status, it was complete with its indexing but only indexed a few hundred (out of thousands) of emails.

What in the fuck?

Reinstall, reinstall, no good. Fuck.

Google says Outlook has to be open during the install. Some other people on the Interwebs say that Desktop has to be installed at the user level (not the Admin level where our Admins prefer it).

Not sure which solves the problem but here's what eventually fixed this and got my old outlook reindexed.

(1) Uninstall old Google Desktop including index. Poof.
(2) Administrator grants the user (me) temporary install privileges.
(3) Open Outlook so it's running when Desktop installation begins.
(4) Install Google desktop.

And voila. The old Outlook emails started indexing. Unfortunately, my Admin remembered step

(5) Reset user privileges back to retard-level so stupid user doesn't install porn and viruses and generally fuck up network.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Final American Idol Thoughts from the finale: May 20, 2009

It was the third disappointing season in a row for Idol and I am out. With all of America from which to choose, we get David Cook, Jordin Sparks, and Kris Allen as American Idols. What a joke. They'll have careers for a bit b/c of currents caused by the show, but nothing really spectacular. This show is completely broken. We know nothing about any of these people. There is no real competition between them because there are no consequences to the losers. The top 5 become wildly well known and all of them get a legitimate shot at a career beyond the show. The result is a bland Kumbaya-fest where largely (and shockingly) mediocre talent sing a bunch of songs shoe-horned into themes unsuited for most the contestants fronted by well-outdated mentors like Smokey Robinson, Dolly Parton, and Slash. And don't get me started on the "judges." They haven't made a meaningful comment - well, ever.

The show needs: 1) better talent; 2) real competition; 3) relevant (or no ) theme weeks; 4) legitimate commentary; 5) contemporary mentors (maybe even past winners/contestants); 6) a different host; and most importantly, 7) lots more behind the scenes stuff. I don't know about you, but I'd love to see an American Idol documentary. I'd like to see how the audition process works - I have visions of a flotilla of 21 year olds giving the throngs a 10 second shot, then going on to a second flotilla giving them a 15 second shot and so on until about 20 people get a minute or so with the panel, followed by 10 made for tv freaks.

I'd love to see how the song choices are made, and how much time is really spent with the mentors (my guess is 5 minutes), and how many consultants are working with the gang, and how long the judges actually work - my guess is 1 hour of make up, a 30 minute production meeting, and the show, and how the PR machine works, etc., and how the wardrobe process works, and how the contestants really get along, and what their living arrangements are like, and what a typical day is like for the contestants. That is a show I'd watch and enjoy.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Was Baba-Booey's the Worst First Pitch Ever? I think not.

With visions of poor Gary's horrendous first pitched burned into my brain - no thanks to Howard - I wondered whether Gary's pitch was the worst ever, or even in the conversation. While terrible, I think not. Let's start with Baba-Booey's:

While that was certainly terrible. It's not the worst ever. Check out these. First up, Carl Lewis, who not only has one of the worst first pitches ever, but one of the worst national anthem's. Here's the pitch (sorry, you'll have to click on this link):

And now. here's his National Anthem:

Sports Videos, News, Blogs

Or how about this one from the Mayor of Cincinnati?

Sports Videos, News, Blogs

Still think Gary's was so bad? How about Mariah Carey? She looks better than Gary while doing it, but her pitch totally sucked:

Mariah Carey First Pitch - Watch more Funny Videos

How about this classic?

Or how about Adam Carolla?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Idol Wrap Up: May 5, 2009

Not sure what to expect tonight. It's a good solid theme for once. Another rock icon is prostituting himself in order to kick start his career - although I'll never again think of Slash as a bad boy. Like Lil Rounds before her in R&B night - this is Allison's night to shine or to sink - and I pick shine. I'd love to see her bust out some Joplin. Adam will probably disappoint me a bit more tonight with an overly outrageous, theatrical performance. While I'd love to see him do classic Queen or better yet Zeppelin - I'll predict something from Tommy and the Who. Gokey will bust out the Joe Cocker, if he has any sense, and if he doesn't the Doobie Brothers. And poor little Kris will see his run end - and I cannot imagine what rock song this guy will attempt. Maybe a ballad from Bon Jovi. Well here goes.

Adam: Well I got my wish and I was right - he did disappoint. Maybe I am simply too big a Zeppelin fan, but I thought Adam's version absolutely sucked. Rock God, Cara? Don't make me laugh. Improved Zepellin, Paula? Paaleeaasse. Nobody can top it, Simon? How about everybody? Wasn't Broadway, Randy? Well, you're right there unless Rocky Horror hit Broadway. Talk about indulgent. This was indulgent with a capital "I." He absolutely ruined one of my favorite songs of all time. Grade: D-.

Anyone think I am being too hard on old Adam? I give you Zeppelin:

Allison: Two for two baby. Joplin. Right artist, decent song choice, but I tend to agree with Randy on this one dogs. She had good vocals and did well, but something was lacking. I think she actually held back a bit too much and didn't let that joint loose as my man Slash feared - keeping it real as I must. I fear that Allison's time might be up, but there's always Kris to save her. Still light years better than Adam tonight. Grade: B-

Kris: I am back at the keyboard before he begins - after hearing his selection. My prediction: TRAIN WRECK. No way this guy should either: a) attempt to use his guitar prop on this classic song; or b) sing this song. He should have picked something he could actually sing like Yesterday, or Let It Be (which he'd sure to sing better than that Brooke White disaster from last season) or better yet - Michelle. This is going to completely stink. It will be off key and an unintentional comedy-fest. Can't wait. .... I'm back. It was way better than I thought it would be. I thought the vocals were on key and decent, but it was forgettable. And I'm not sure what guitar stylings Randy was watching, because there were no stylings as usual. Still better than Adam though. Grade: C.

Gokey: Well, the train wreck came one stop late. As soon as I heard his song choice, I knew it was over. What could Gokey have been thinking? The song was way out of his vocal range. It was perhaps the worst song choice in the history of Idol. It was the worst performance by Gokey in the run of the show. It was - dare I say and I heard Megan Joy and the blind guy for weeks - the worst performance of the season. And it was among the worst performances in the history of the show. It totally blew. Totally. Whoever advised him to take on Aerosmith should be fired. Especially when there are endless songs that the guy the guy could actually sing well. Horrible. Grade: 0.

My order: Allison, Kris, Adam, Gokey. As bad as Gokey was, I'd vote out Kris for the body of Gokey's work. I really don't care though. I am now fully behind Allison! Adam's act has gotten old. Seacrest out.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Idol Wrap Up: April 29, 2009

Thought I'd try something a bit new this week. I am going to do some predictions just before I see the contestant's perform, and then sum up. Before I begin, a bit of a rant is in order. Rat Pack Week? This is the single stupidest theme yet. Don't get me wrong, I love the pack and am a huge fan of the Chairman of the Board, but this theme for the next American Idol? Craziness. I'm reminded of that Duets album - an homage to Frank - that had the likes Bono singing standards. What a train wreck. Bono is one of the premier rock singers of all time, but he couldn't sing a bar of a standard. If I recall correctly, he sang the worst rendition of I've Got You Under My Skin of all time, which is precisely what I expect tonight. Don't believe it's a train wreck? Check it out, dog.

The producers of Idol should be dismissed. How about letting the contestants sing current songs? I wonder who is going to be the worst at this. It could be anyone. Gokey? Allison? Matt? I bet that Adam steals the show again. Thank goodness the blind guy isn't still here to Broadway-ize Fly Me to the Moon - although I'd pay big money to see the tattoo sleeve chick totally butcher a classic. Anyway, I digress.

Kris: Thought captain yo-yo won last week. Since this should be his wheel house, I predict a mediocre, out of key disaster. I can't imagine he'd bust out his one chord on the guitar this week, so I'll predict he plays two chords on the piano. Prediction: Grade C-.

The truth: Well I was right on one thing. Captain Yo-Yo struck again, although he yo-yo'ed way up tonight. I agree with Randy dog, he sang the crap out of that joint. He sounded a bit like a young Michael Feinstein tonight. Grade: A-

Allison: As might as I like Allison, I think the producers and the panel's seemingly season-long conspiracy against her culminates tonight with the worst possible theme for the young rocker. She is completely out of her element and will be exposed as someone who can't sing when she is not screaming. Prediction: Grade: D-.

The truth: As Yoda might say, dead wrong was I. Dead wrong. This was BY FAR Allison's best performance of the season. By far. She blew that song right out of the box. She can sing, she really can. I take it back. But I don't take back the conspiracy. What the HELL was Simon Cowell smoking? In trouble with THAT performance? Just for that, I am going to vote for the first time this season. Screw Simon. Grade: A

Matt: I am not going to go 0 for 3. I'm not. Matt is going to butcher a classic. He is going to put WAY to much R&B in and ruin a great song. Prediction: Grade F.

The truth: It's true. Simon is on Paula's meds. Matt was absolutely brilliant? I have to laugh. Matt was absolutely out of key for half the song and absolutely mediocre in general. Simon must be sleeping with Matt or maybe his mother. Remember, this is the guy that Simon inexplicably saved a couple of week's back. But, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Grade: C-.

Gokey: Not sure what to expect. He certainly is no crooner and he's been dropping week after week. He is never utterly horrible, but this is way out of his area (if he has an area). Prediction: Grade: Solid C.

The truth: Well, 1 for 4 makes me a tomato can in baseball (aka the best sport) and probably worse here. While I am starting to dislike Danny's style, I have to admit that he sang the heck out of that song tonight (even though he did not sound anything like a rat packer). And I think he's edged out Allison for the best of the night. Go figure. With the exception of Matt, maybe this was not so bad a choice of themes after all. I stand corrected. Grade: A.

Adam: I never know what to expect from him, but I'm sure he'll be rock solid and in the 90s. Thanks buddy for raising me up to 2 out of 5 - .400. Prediction: Grade: A

The truth: I don't what to say. Was he good. Certainly. Is he the only unique talent in the competition. Absolutely. Did he win tonight? I don't think so. I agree again with Randy that he did well, but that the song was way too theatrical. I think Adam needs to guard against going too over the top each week. Was he good enough to keep me sub-.500? Yes. Was it an A? Nope. Grade: B.

Rankings: Gokey, Allison, Kris, Adam, and Matt.

Prediction for who is going to go? Thanks to Simon - either Allison or Kris, when it should be Matt - big time. This will be a good week to see how much sway Cowell has over the sheep. If it's a lot - Kris or Allison will be gone. If it is less than I expect, then Matt.