Boston Rock Gym’s Heart of Steel 2011

April 11th, 2011

This year’s Heart of Steel was a step up over last year. The event was broken up into two sections, the morning for open (pro), beginner and youth. The afternoon for intermediate and advanced. This alleviated the wall congestion of 2010 and gave the event a more relaxed atmosphere. 2010 was crazy. Climbers were getting on walls as people were falling off in the crush to get climbs in. This year I got in more than enough climbs and was exhausted by the end of the event. I wish that they had set some boulder problems in the far room because I enjoyed the separate spaces. For next year I would love to see both bouldering areas set and maybe even some stuff on the lower section of the top rope routes. A bunch of great sponsors like EMS, ASA Photographic and Scion of Woburn were there to support the event. I also met some guys from a new magazine focused on northeast climbing called Climberism. What a great idea.

I missed some of the competitors from last year’s Heart of Steel. I was particularly hoping that Sasha DiGuilian would be there after I read she recently ascent a 5.14c, Southern Smoke. She is tearing it up. I also missed the high flying antics of Michael Bautista.

Regardless, this year’s Heart of Steel finals Blew My Mind. The route setting was spectacular both for its creativity and for the number of ways climbs could be accomplished. Watch all the videos and notice how beta varied so much between contestants. This kept the event exciting because you were not watching people make the same moves over and over again. There were monos, hand jams, foot jams, double toe cams, inverted maneuvers, dynos. Sick. So, so sick. There was also a surprise as Boston Rock Gym’s own Daniel Berman qualified for the finals despite competing in the Advanced category. He absolutely crushed it and ended up with more points than the third place Open finisher, Josh Larson. BRG stepped it up and opened their wallet to do the right thing. They had four men in the finals instead of three. Daniel is only fourteen, but he climbs like a man. The crowd loved him. I think he was probably at a pretty big disadvantage because he climbed from two to six while the open competitors climbed from nine to one. This meant he only got two hours of rest before the finals while everyone else got seven hours. Me… I need about two days of rest after climbing.

The women put on a great show and climbed some hard hard stuff. Their routes were left up post comp. The pink route was rated V9 and the yellow route V8+. After climbing (falling off?) them I would agree. There were two huge highlights for me. One was Sasha’s fantastic foot and handwork to get the lower $100. She literally rotates three hundred sixty degrees around a hand/foot jam. The other was Tiff’s dyno on problem one. I was filming and then all of a sudden she just disappeared from the frame. After quickly ruling out teleportation I found her though and caught the rest of her climb.

In the end Vasya handily took home the men’s crown for the third year straight. Someone out there has to show up at the Heart of Steel and give this guy a run for his money because I am starting to feel like he is only competing against himself. The women’s title was a lot more interesting. They tied for the amount of money collected and so would split the prize pot. However, at this year’s competition there was an option to buy another try for $20. Most of the competitors turned this down because let’s face it, after six minutes of giving it 110% twenty bucks probably isn’t going to get you any further unless it also bought you ten minutes of rest. But Tiff was in a special situation. Because they were in a dead tie if she could get any money off the wall she wouldn’t have to split the pot. However, if she failed to get any money off the wall then Sasha would get the whole pot. Drama! In the end she chose to play it safe (or smart), by splitting the pot. Imagining how tired she must have been… I can’t blame her.

Surgery Day Break Down

January 6th, 2011

Surgery day was hard. As hard as I thought it would be. Last night on preop day I managed to get our Christmas tree down and then fell into an exhausted sleep around 9pm. At 5:30am the alarm went off and it was time to drag myself out of bed and start hurriedly  getting ready for the day. Since we had fallen asleep so early we had not managed to pack our things nor given Julian a disinfecting bath using special sponges from the hospital. So the first order of business was waking Julian and getting him bathed. Next was packing between mouthfuls of cereal. But after forgetting only a handful of things we were off in record time and headed into Boston by 6:30. On the way in Julian let loose a hacking cough that he had acquired a couple days ago. It sounded as bad as ever. Would he be able to have surgery today?

At admitting we saw a room full of anxious parents clutching their small children and awaiting their turns for vital sign checks. Gretchen popped off to get some breakfast since she did not have a chance to eat before leaving and sure enough, as soon as she stepped out, Julian and I got called in for an initial checkup. The nurses listened to his chest and discussed the raspiness of his lungs, but in the end determined that it was upper respiratory and would not stop the surgery. But then they couldn’t get a good blood saturation level to come through because Julian kept wiggling. He was hungry after not eating since 8pm the night before. I wish I had woken up at 4am and given him some pedialyte. His blood saturation was hovering around 85% and had the nurses concerned. Dad to the rescue. I scooped Julian up and snuggled him into the nook on my neck that he loves so much. Instantly he calmed down and the nurses got an accurate reading of 94%.

After some more waiting we rode the elevator with two other families to the surgical floor. We stepped into the pod 7 holding area on the third floor of Children’s Boston and each family was ushered off into a curtained room. Here we took turns holding Julian and he was a bundle of joy. Waving his arms in the air, cooing and enjoying himself. Nurses discussed the procedures again with us and anesthesiology gave us another review. The best part was that Dr. Emani took the time to come down and speak with us. He did not look tired at all from his work the previous day, but he was all business. He ran through the procedure, which we had already heard many times before, and I suspect he then headed off to prep for surgery. Moments later our time was up. Julian was so well behaved that the nurses decided that he didn’t need to be sedated before leaving us. We bundled him into a warm blanket and he looked back at us with his big eyes and we said goodbye. And just like that the nurse turned around and walked away with him.

The waiting is the worst. I was so stressed. Except for my wife, everything anyone did bothered me. She had learned over the years what to do and say when I get overloaded. Joking about stuff bothered me, talking about the surgery bothered me, asking me if I wanted food bothered me. We walked to a nice waiting area filled with families awaiting the outcomes of their children’s surgeries. Here I sat in my chair and did my Facebook status updates and wrote a couple blog articles on the surgery. The writing filled the timeless void between Julian leaving us and periodic updates we received from the nursing staff. The updates were crucial, critical and so very much appreciated. I can’t imagine agonizing through the entire ordeal without knowing that he had successfully been sedated, successfully incised and moved to a heart lung machine. Each Facebook status update I posted would immediately begin blipping with activity. Words of encouragement and ‘likes’ coming through. I have never been a big Facebook status update person, but this is one case where I loved it. In real time I could see how many people were anxiously awaiting Julian’s progress.

When Dr. Emani finally appeared I didn’t know what to do with myself. Here was the man who had just stitched my son’s heart back together. The news was all good. Julian’s heart was beating on its own, blood flow was great and there were no conduction issues. I don’t even remember what he said. I don’t remember whether I thanked him or not. The whole group of us, Gretchen, my mother, my aunt Carol, my in-laws were all quiet. After Dr. Emani left I hugged Gretchen and both of us kind of fell apart. I was so scared that Julian was going to die. That he would be a still and lifeless corpse on an operating table with his chest cut open wide and a dead heart inside. Without a doubt the worst part was the waiting. Afterwards my emotions flooded out and in their wake I was whole again. Reinvigorated and anxious to see Julian in the recovery room.

The recovery room was not nearly as scary as I thought it would be. You hear that he will be hooked up to a million machines and have tubes coming out of everywhere, and indeed he did. But you don’t care. All you care about is that the surgery was a success and that he is okay and that he will be okay. I took my finger and slid it into the palm of Julian’s one hand that wasn’t covered with iv’s or tubes. I did not expect the cold and lifeless flesh against mine. I reached out with my other hand to stroke his hair and couldn’t help but feel that it would be coarse and hard like straw. But as my fingers ran through his fine silky threads I knew it was him. As his body regained its normal pre-operative temperature his body would regain its vibrance. Julian was on pain medication, sedation medication and paralytic medication. So Julian could not move, theoretically could not feel pain and was asleep. We set up his crib with stuffed animals, blankies and his favorite singing seahorse that lulls him to bed every night. And with that our big day was done. A friend very thoughtfully called Bertucci’s across the street and prepaid for our dinner. All we had to do was show up and the manager came over to make sure it was us. She personally served us our meals (very quickly) and overall it was a great experience.

My brother Terry dropped in to say hi and drop off some things we had forgotten at home. As I explained how great everything was going medically I didn’t even notice that Terry had tears in his eyes until I turned around. I gave him a hug and it dawned on me that after such a big day I failed to realize all the emotion those who love us must have been going through. I had my moment to release all my tensions, to shed tears and to embrace the future, but others who love Julian maybe hadn’t. All those dozens of people sitting around their computer screens hitting the refresh button and anxiously awaiting the next status update must have had a collective sigh of relief and maybe even a shed a few tears when the good news finally came through. Here are those status messages again for all those who anxiously awaited them.

  • 7:30 am – Waiting at inpatient admitting. Thank you for all the well wishes everyone!
  • 8:30 am – We have moved up to the surgery holding area. Julian is waiting for the sedation team.
  • 9:00 am – They took Julian away for the operation a few moments ago. We are now in the family waiting area. We are supposed to get updates from the nurses every ninety minutes or so. There were definitely tears shed as we watched them walk away with Julian bundled up in a warm blanket.
  • 10:15 am – The nurse just gave us our first update. Julian has been sedated, had all his lines inserted and had his chest opened. All is well so far.
  • 10:45 am – Julian has been successfully moved to a heart lung machine.
  • 12:00 pm- Things are progressing. The surgeon is finishing up his work and they will start testing the effectiveness of the repair.
  • 12:45 pm – Dr. Emani just came down and let us know that the surgery was a success. Julian’s heart is beating on its own and there are no conduction issues. In the next ninety minutes he will be transferred to ICU where we can see him.

Details of Julian’s Surgery

January 4th, 2011

I promised in my last post to get into what a surgeon, Dr. Craig, could detail of Julian’s heart procedure. When he came in and sat down Dr. Craig took on a conversational attitude and prepped us in a matter of fact way. Some things he said made my mind race with worry. For more complicated surgeries like this… Hundreds of stitches… There are several risk factors.

I am a man on a high speed training hurtling along the tracks. I know that most likely this train takes me to somewhere safe and beautiful, but I also know that this train can derail at any moment and destroy everything. In my arms I clutch Julian with his big blue eyes and wide-eyed stare. I look up and see the big red handle of an emergency brake and I imagine wrapping my fingers firmly around it and yanking it down. With a blazing screech of sparks and a momentous jolt forward that nearly throws me to the floor the entire train comes to rest. I look around and breathe a scary exhausted breath and everything is fine. Except I am not doing that. Instead I am holding tightly onto Julian and praying that this train slows to a stop where I can slide open the door with one hand while I clutch Julian in my other and let in the warm brightness of a blue day.

Let’s start with what is physically wrong with Julian’s heart. He has what is called a transitional atrioventricular septal defect(AVSD), a cleft mitral valve, a patent foramen ovale and a perforated foramen. The most serious of these is the AVSD which consists of a large hole between his atria (#1 in pic) and a small hole between his ventricles (#2 in pic.) If you look at the image below the ventricles are the big chambers are on the bottom and the atria are the small chambers on the top. To repair the smaller ventricular part they will rely on stitches, to repair the larger atrial part they will use a piece of tissue from the pericardium (sac that contains the heart) or if there is not enough pericardial tissue they will use a synthetic patch that Julian’s living tissue will grow over. An AVSD allows blood to shunt the wrong direction across the heart. This causes mixing of oxygenated and unoxygenated blood, making Julian’s heart work harder. In fact one side of his heart is already enlarged from this extra work. On average his heart is beating 150,000 times a day and working harder with each beat.

animated gif of blood in the heart

The blue is old blood entering the heart. It is then pumped to the lungs and comes back as red, oxygenated blood. Finally it is pumped back out to the body.

The cleft mitral valve is very typical with AVSD’s. It is found on the left side of the heart and controls blood flow from the atrium to the ventricle. When the valve was forming prenatally, it typically has two pieces that merge together. In Julian’s case they did not complete the merge and the result is a Y-shape. This can result in blood flowing backwards through the heart. To fix this the surgeon uses a few stitches to sew the Y shut. Typically they try and fix the problem 90% as opposed to completely fix the problem. This is because if they go too far it can actually impinge blood flow from the left atria down into the left ventricle. Here is a little graphic to give you an idea.

Graphic of cleft mitral valve and typical mitral valve

Mitral Valve

A patent foramen ovale is a flap that allows blood to openly flow between a fetus’ left and right side of the heart and bypass the lungs. This is because the mother’s lungs are doing the work of oxygenating blood. As the fetus matures this flap seals shut and neatly separates the chambers of the heart. In Julian’s case the flap did not seal completely. The surgeon will stitch it shut. Julian also has a secondary problem which is that the flap has small holes throughout it. These need to be repaired individually with a series of minute stitches. They cannot tell from the heart ultrasound, but if the flap is too thin then stitching these holes shut will not be possible because the tissue could tear. In that case a patch may be used instead.

Now that you know what is wrong and how they will fix it I can get into the details of what the surgery entails. Julian will be sedated via a mask and then prepped for surgery. This includes insertion of a catheter, arm and leg iv’s, and a breathing tube through the nose. His body temperature will be lowered to slow blood flow. Next they make an incision down his sternum and use a bone saw to separate the sternum down the middle. Retractors are used to hold his chest cavity open to access the heart. If Julian’s thalamus is obstructing access to the heart then it will be removed. The thalamus is similar to your thyroid, but is temporary and goes away by adulthood anyways. His thalamus may be used to make medicine for many other people.

Next they will sever his aorta and transfer his blood flow to a heart lung machine. This machine will be responsible for keeping Julian alive until the surgeons can finish the repair of his heart. Next an incision is made in his left atrium through which the surgeons will do all their stitch work. Dr. Craig said that they expect to use hundreds of needles and make hundreds of stitches during the course of the surgery. Once the stitches are complete they will begin to warm Julian’s body back up and test the effectiveness of the repairs. If anything does not work quite correctly they will make the fixes now. Next Julian will be taken off the heart lung machine. Finally his breastbone will be wired together (no MRI’s for Julian) and his chest closed up.

There are three major dangers Julian faces from the operation. The first is infection. Typically 1-2% of patients will have some type of infection. Hopefully these are infections of the skin or subcutaneous fat layer as opposed to an infection in the heart.

The next major danger is stroke. The clamping of the aorta can release tissue into the bloodstream which can travel to the brain. Strokes can be anywhere from minor to terminal. Because Julian is so young and should not have built up material in his arteries, this should be of minimal risk.

The greatest problem that Julian faces is conduction problems which occurs in about 5% of surgeries. The heart’s beating is controlled by an electrical system that flows around Julian’s AVSD (the holes in his heart). As Dr. Emani seals these holes he must be careful not to pierce the conduction system while still creating an effective stitch. The electrical system is completely unidentifiable from surrounding tissue, so Dr. Emani will need to rely on his experience and skill to effectively place each stitch.

Julian’s Pre-op Day

January 4th, 2011

Yesterday was a big day. We had Julian’s preop appointment where he was analyzed to ensure he was healthy and ready for his surgery. We started out at 7:30am in admitting and then moved up to a small office where a coordination team was prepped and ready to get things moving. I thought that like most doctor’s visits we would spend the majority of the time sitting around, but it was a whirlwind trip through the hospital.

We started by visiting radiology for a chest x-ray. I had to hold Julian’s arms up against his head and keep him very still for the x-rays. He cried a bit because it was so uncomfortable. Fortunately moments later he was his happy usual self.

Next he was brought to an exam room for vitals, height and weight. Julian had just finished a bottle so he puttered off to sleep and didn’t wake up through the entire procedure. He must have been having some pretty cool dreams. His blood oxygenation sat at a very good 99% and his blood pressure and temperature were normal. He weighed in at 14lbs and 5oz and was 26in long at seven months old. He is still a cute little button! Next up was the squid which consisted of a dozen or so wires with little stickies on the end. Unfortunately I don’t have pictures or videos of this because Gretchen had left to get some breakfast and coffee. By the time the squid was all stuck to him his little torso was nearly covered in the things.

Next we headed down to what would be the worst part of the day. Blood analysis. The last time we took Julian down to have his blood drawn he screamed bloody murder while Gretchen and I kept him pinned to the table so the phlebotomist could work. I had never seen him cry so hard or so loud in his entire life. Apparently dear old dad’s habits of rough housing with Julian have paid off though, because this time he was like a UFC fighter. The needle went in and squiggled around looking for a vein, but Julian manned up and hardly let out a peep. I was so proud of him.

From there we headed out to have a tour of the ICU and postop recuperating areas. The ICU was pretty intense. The monitoring equipment was enormous and took up three quarters of the room. Off by a window a thin and narrow mattress was where was one of us parents could sleep. For the other parent there is a family suite in another building with showering facilities and beds. After ICU he will go to a shared room in another wing of the hospital. I don’t plan on leaving the hospital for the next week so I am going to get very familiar with Children’s.

After a short lunch break (the food is decent, the selection is good and the price is great by the way) we headed back to a waiting room where we met with a nurse practitioner, anesthesiologist and a surgeon (but not our surgeron). The nurse practitioner went over Julian’s history and we could ask her questions about what the following day would be like. The surgeon went over the details of the surgery which I will cover in more detail in my next post. The anesthesiologist went over how Julian had strict food intake requirements until the next day and things like that.

We still weren’t done yet! We met with two nurses and chose to opt in for two studies. The first was strictly a monitoring study called TXA. The second was a study on whether treating blood sugar levels through insulin injection immediately post-surgery prevents infection. A similar study in adults found this to be true. They expect this to also be true for babies, but at the worst neither helpful nor hurtful.

Unfortunately we were unable to meet with Julian’s surgeon, Dr. Sitaram Emani, because he had an unexpected surgery and was tied up in it. My only thought after hearing that was I hoped he had enough time to get home and get some rest. I don’t want our surgeon to be overtired from a long day of work and then have to get up the next morning and do two more.

Massachusetts Revokes Your Choice of Insurance Provider

December 27th, 2010

In November my wife and I received a very surprising and disturbing letter. Our health insurance provider Blue Cross Blue Shield told us that since we are eligible for health insurance through my work we were no longer eligible to purchase insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield. Not only that, but our current policy would be canceled at some point in the future. I must have read the letter ten times. Think about this. Massachusetts may have ruled that you cannot choose your health insurance provider, but the real calamity is that Massachusetts is effectively determining who your health care providers are too. We use BCBS for a reason and it is because our doctors are covered by BCBS and not my work’s insurance. By forcing me into a plan I don’t want the state is determining who can provide my care. What if my work has the worst rated insurer in the state? What if I work out of state and my health insurer doesn’t have good coverage in Massachusetts?

I am pro-health care reforms because I believe that everyone in our great country has a right to be treated for illness, but this law takes away your choice of health care provider. And that my friends, is unamerican. Every single one of us should have a choice of who our health insurance provider (and thus health care professionals) are. Forcing an individual to work with a specific company through virtue of their employer is bad for the american people.

BCBS immediately received a call from me in which my suspicions were confirmed by the operator. I was so stunned I actually called back the next day and asked another representative. She said that the reason this was mandated was because of people buying individual coverage, getting an operation, and then immediately dropping coverage. But isn’t this the entire purpose of open enrollment periods? In fact Massachusetts has instituted open enrollment period for 2011 individual plans. Six weeks at the beginning of 2011 and from then on July 1 to July 15 once per year.

Google searches for the text of this law were fruitless and finding any information resulted in nothing. Rarely have I felt the need to blog about something political, but this really struck a nerve because it affects my family immensely. It did not help that just days before receiving this letter I found out that my son will need open heart surgery in January or February. BCBS could give me no specific date when our coverage would be revoked. Just what you want to hear when you have required surgery coming up and can’t afford not to be insured.

So my mind started to chew through different scenarios where someone would actually think this is a good idea. I couldn’t find anything online about the law. In fact I am still not sure if it is a state law or a national law. I believe that we may be the victim of a bone thrown to insurance companies. You see my family certainly isn’t profitable to BCBS. Previously we were, but with the birth of a baby that needs lots of medical attention we are an enormous liability. What if the state made a deal with insurance companies? Essentially the insurance companies can keep profitable customers and bump nonprofitable customers off on someone else.

If anyone knows more about this law then please post in the comments!

WordPress iPad App – Invalid Username / Password – Login Failed

November 29th, 2010

So I downloaded the free WordPress for iPad app and it didn’t work. Login failed. It is a free app, and overall it is pretty good. But I always find it very disappointing when things that should “just work” don’t. I think I have mentioned this before, but one of the great failings of the open source community is to make things that work out of the box without having to google obscure things. I’ve done my fair share of Software Quality Assurance in my life and I know that it sucks and is boring and developers don’t like to do it… but using the great unwashed masses as your beta team sucks. I do give kudos to the dev team who has been responsive in their forum and where I found this solution.

  1. So how about getting that app up and running? The first thing you need to do is log into your WordPress installation from a normal web browser and navigate to Settings -> Writing. Then enable the xml-rpc remote settings. Save!

    Word Press XML-RPC Settings


  2. Open up the WordPress application on your iPad and click the + icon to add a new blog.
  3. I chose “self-hosted” blog from the splashscreen.
  4. Enter your blogs front page URL. Do not add wp-admin to the URL.
  5. Enter your username
  6. Enter your password and THEN press the hide keyboard key
  7. You should see the screen say “authenticating” and then “good to go.”
  8. Finally click “Add Site” and you are ready to rock.

Spoon.net forced to pull Internet Explorer

November 19th, 2010

Today I logged into a website that any web developer surely appreciates. Spoon.net. Their software allows you to run a large number of web browsers on your local machine just like they were actually installed. You have heard of virtual machines? Well these are virtual applications. Everything nice and bundled up and working like a natively installed app. Which means that you can easily test IE6 and IE7 on your dev box without having to use crappy software like IE Tester or jumping through hoops to get concurrent installations setup or maintaining virtual machines or any of the rest of that crap.

So you can imagine my dismay when I logged in today and all the versions of Internet Explorer were gone with a note saying Microsoft had asked Spoon to pull the software packages. Are you kidding ME?! MS perpetuates the existence of browsers that should die because they make every web developers life a nightmare and then they go out and find the one tool that makes it easy to troubleshoot their crap and sink it? Why do they even have a problem with Spoon distributing software that is free with every OS they sell and only runs on Windows boxes anyway?

So as a shout out, Spoon.net = awesome. Please, please, please work something out with Microsoft. For those of you who haven’t heard of them check out some of their other browser images like FF, Opera, Chrome and Safari. The sign up process is incredibly fast and easy and the software install takes just a minute.

SQL Server Driver for PHP Setup Tutorial

September 16th, 2010

So recently for work I had to work with some data in a Microsoft Access database. I imported this into SQL Server using the Microsoft Management Studio because the tools made my life easy. However my dev environment was already setup for php and I didn’t really feel like setting up an environment for ASP just to create some simple web pages for myself. I also wanted to avoid having to convert my db’s from Access to SQL Server and then import to MySQL. The answer is Microsoft’s opensource driver for PHP. This article will get you up and running in no time.

  1. Start by downloading Microsofts PHP Driver
  2. Extract it to a directory on your computer.
  3. Open a page that calls phpinfo() and look for the following information:
    • Version – 5.3 or 5.2 for example
    • Compiler – VC6 or VC9
    • Thread Safety – enabled or disabled
  4. Find the dll that in your extracted folder that matches the above information. For example sqlsrv_5.3_ts_vc6.dll would be for Version 5.3, Thread Safe Enabled and compiled in VC6.
  5. Copy the .dll into your php ext directory. For a WAMP installation this would typically be in c:\wamp\bin\php\phpversion\ext
  6. Enable the dll by either editing your php.ini file or from the WAMP taskbar icon
    • Click the taskbar icon -> restart all services  - the dll will show up in your extensions list
    • Click the taskbar icon again -> PHP -> PHP Extensions -> check php_sqlsrv_5.3_ts_vc6
    • Revisit your phpinfo() page and you should no have a section called sqlsrv
  7. Finally you just need to code up a page to grab some information from your sql database
$serverName = "(local)";
$connectionOptions = array("Database"=>"yoursqldb");

$conn = sqlsrv_connect( $serverName, $connectionOptions);

if( $conn === false )  { die( FormatErrors( sqlsrv_errors() ) ); } //terminate on failed connection

	$tsql = "SELECT TOP 100 [yourcolumn] FROM [yoursqldb]";
	$getRows = sqlsrv_query( $conn, $tsql);
	if ( $getRows === false) { die( FormatErrors( sqlsrv_errors() ) ); }

        //for each row output each column value
	while( $row = sqlsrv_fetch_array( $getRows, SQLSRV_FETCH_ASSOC)) {
		foreach ( $row as $key => $value ) {
			echo $value."<br />";
		}
	}

/* Free the statement and connection resources. */
sqlsrv_free_stmt( $getRows );
sqlsrv_close( $conn );

Set the time for a SQL datetime

September 16th, 2010

I spent about an hour attempting to google the best way of changing the time of a SQL datetime midquery. I would think this would be easy, and it kind of was, but finding the logic that led me to it was confoundingly difficult. So hopefully you other googlers out there will benefit from my experience. This is for SQL Server, but other versions of SQL will have similar functions available to them.

--We start with DateAdd which adds the specified time interval to a date
DateAdd(timeinterval, amountoftime, date)

--We combine this with DateDiff which gives you the difference in time between two dates. We can ask DateDiff to give us the number of days between the start of time (0) and our current time. Now we have days with no time, essentially zero'ing the time.
DateDiff(timeinterval, starttime, endtime)
DateDiff(dd, 0, mydatetime)

--Finally we combine the two statements. DateDiff gives us our days and DateAdd converts that back into a datetime.
DateAdd(anytimeinterval, 0, DateDiff(dd, 0, mydatetime))

--But what about actually setting the time? No problem, just change "anytimeinterval" and the 0 right after it to the time you want to add
DateAdd(hh, 9, DateDiff(dd, 0, mydatetime)) would add nine hours to the truncated time. 

Adding a computer to a wireless Canon ip5200R

July 12th, 2010

Every time I need to add a computer to my wireless printer I can’t for the life of me remember how to do it. So this post is more for myself than anything, but hopefully someone else out there will benefit. This article assumes that you have already connected your wireless printer to your home wireless network.

  1. Go to www.canonusa.com and download the IJ network driver / Network tool. Not the setup utility nor the wireless setup assistant.
  2. Connect the computer to the printer via usb cable
  3. Run the setup program you just downloaded
  4. Select Next
  5. Select “Use it as is”  and Next
  6. Unplug the usb cable and Next
  7. The utility will run a connection test to ensure you have enough wireless signal strength to print.

Canon definitely loses points for having one of the worst designed driver download pages. Let’s see:

  • No support for the back button so I have to repick my OS from the dropdown list every time I want to download an additional driver
  • Annoying popup window
  • Doesn’t play nice with Chrome. You get no save confirmation and have to press ctrl-J to bring up your downloads then manually confirm.
  • So I am sure there are technical limitations for this… but why do I need to connect with a wire to use my wireless printer? I have it all setup in my upstairs office and I need to add my downstairs desktop. That means disconnecting and dragging the printer down to it. Ugh.