Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-01-30

  • So far this morning. Dr appt where I read for class while waiting. Started a CFP for Texas EMS Conf 20111. Scheduled Skydive Sat. #
  • 'Steampunk Palin' My fav part is Robama her sidekick. – #
  • First 5 study tips are now in the EMS Newbie mailing list for followup. Should have got one today if you are part of the list. #
  • Having to go around a velociraptor ! (post the most difficult race obstacle you can imagine #SpartanRace ) #
  • Learned some interesting things in Seated Immobilization – KED via @youtube #
  • "…regardless of where the physician went to school, there will be a history and physical in the packet that will… #
  • [EMSNewbie] Interview Questions for Bob Page – #EMS #
  • Just signed my will and got it witnessed and notarized. #
  • #
  • @SteveMphotog Let's hope not, but if I do, then I'll be ready. 🙂 in reply to SteveMphotog #
  • Amazing how you can go from happy to not happy in a short period of time. #
  • Now I shall total up how many pages I have to read in the next week. That should make me feel better. #
  • 146 pages by next Tuesday, not including the web sites we are suppose to "explore" #
  • "The fate of the wounded rests in the hands of the one who applies the first dressing." – Nicholas Senn, MD #
  • [EMSNewbie] Ep 32 Trauma and EMS Ops – #EMS #
  • There's so much to be learned from this story. "F you and your high powered rifle!" The Gary Fadden incident #
  • I love our podcast every week, but what you could learn from Bob Page in the one I just recorded could really save someones life. #EMS #
  • @pierceray That is one of the questions of the ages. Mostly because they don't have to be. in reply to pierceray #
  • The United States Of Shame Map | #
  • Just got off Skype with @setla. I'd never seen his doc Level Zero. Looks really cool. #
  • All my clinicals are requested. I now have no free weekends until Easter. Couple of unscheduled days. #
  • I favorited a YouTube video — Dad Life (Father's Day Opening 2010) #
  • Quite possibly the funniest music video I've ever seen — Dad Life #
  • Hadn't know how well this song would work for motherhood. Impressive. Mommy Rhapsody (Mother's Day Opening 2010) #
  • I favorited a YouTube video — SWAGGER WAGON #
  • I think at this point I'm officially stood up by Kelly. #
  • Unstood up. #
  • Episode recorded. Now shower, massage, skydive. It should be a good day. #
  • Halfway there and got a call they aren't jumping. 🙁 #
  • Off to first hospital clinical of the semester. Done it a dozen times before but for some reasons I'm nervous this morning. #
  • First successful IV stick of the semester. Now prepping for a code. #

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-01-23

  • Just joined NAEMT. #
  • [Reactuate] 4HB: Some Lab Work #
  • Seems precapillary sphincters should have come up before now. #
  • @NLL2010 When you thinking? Contact me via so I don't have to post my email. in reply to NLL2010 #
  • First reading of the new semester done. #
  • Well my two main courses are now available to me, but two others, including my online course aren't listed. #
  • "A study funded by the NIH found that cognitive training can counteract seven to fourteen years of age-related cognitive decline." #
  • I need to shoot some EMS stock photographer. iStock is lacking there. #
  • Here's an interesting research project. How many hours of TV do EMS personnel watch a week compared to the gen pop? #
  • [EMSNewbie] What's in Your Bag? – #EMS #
  • What's in Your Bag? – #EMS #
  • @AZReam Where'd you hear that? in reply to AZReam #
  • Another run. Faster because I need to go to the registrar. #
  • [EMSNewbie] Ep 31 Listener Questions – #EMS #
  • Well I finally got back into all my classes. #
  • @lubys your email coupon program is a great example of how not to run one. It shouldn't be that hard, and it should work. #
  • After 37 minutes on the phone with the help desk, I am now able to see all my course in Angel. #
  • Women In Their 40s Most Likely To Have Sex On First Date & Orgasm. #
  • Ultimate showdown of ultimate destiny #
  • I should be in bed, since I have to be up early to go to class with the boy. But I still need to pack, or I'll have to be up ever earlier. #
  • It is weird being in class at this time of the morning. #
  • Done recording Newbie . Good stuff. Kelly is even politically incorrect on this episode…..I mean that's the first time right? 🙂 #
  • Watching The Lost Boys with teens who haven't seen it. #
  • @fancyfembot Did that before the movie started. "This is a vampire movie before vampires sparkled." 🙂 in reply to fancyfembot #

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4HB: Some Lab Work

If you are going to improve your health, then one thing you need to get is some lab work. So I got a number of blood tests done end of last year.

The Tests

In the Four Hour Body, Ferris suggests you get the Spetracell Vitamin Deficiency test. I went looking for someone near me that did the test and found Dr. Martin Basaldua, who is like 5 minutes drive from my work. He also does the kind of hormone replacement therapy that I’ve been going to Hotze Health and Wellness center for the last three years. I decided to change doctors since he is so much closer.

I went in and talked with Dr. Basaldua and gave him some older lab work Hotze had done. He wanted to get numbers on free testosterone and a PSA. Since I’ve got high cholesterol we also wanted to get that tested. Spectracell has a special cholesterol test that reports the size of the cholesterol lipids and I asked the doctor about it. He said he preferred the Berkley Heart Lab’s test, which breaks down your HDL and LDL levels into sub groups, some more important that others. I decided to do the Berkley.

I asked about testing Dihydrotestosterone as well, since Ferris recommended it and it is believed to the actual form of hormone that causes the benign enlargement of the prostate. The doctor wasn’t that interested in testing it because the OK range was so large as to be almost meaningless, and really you need to see is change, and since we don’t know what mine was, how can we know if there is a problem. I told him I wanted it anyway, because how would we know it changes if we don’t have a baseline.

Today I got back those results.

The Good

Spetracell came back showing I had no vitamin deficiencies. Dr Basaldua was impressed because he said since he’s been doing it only 5 people have come back with no deficiencies the first time. So I guess I’m doing something right.

I still want to do some research, especially into Vitamin D, because not being deficient doesn’t mean you have an optimal amount. Though it looks like the results are in percent of the control group, which might not be helpful.

The Bad

I know my cholesterol is high. Actually very high, with a low HDL. Low HDL is almost worse than a high LDL. About the only known treatment for low HDL is Niacin, and the doctor prescribed that even before the blood work was back.

It came back and even broken down, I’ve got issues. My HDL is just in the OK range according to Berkley and their test is actual level, where most test are calculated levels. Still the doc would like to see it higher. My HDL2b is an “intermediate” risk.

Total and LDL overall are high. Of the sub LDLs, most are OK, but the ApoB is very high. 141 where 120+ is bad and less than 60 is recommended. Homocystein, CRP, Fibriogen and Insulin are all green.

The most interesting finding was that my ApoE Genotype is 3/4. There are 3 kinds of genotypes that effect cholesterol, and for each of them some things work better than others. For instance in my type, exercise has only a moderate effect on raising HDL and lower LDL. Fish oil actually makes things worse, and the really effective treatment is a low fat diet.

I need to do some more research on this genotype stuff and I’ll be interested to see what 23andme says when I get my genetic profile back.


Doesn’t do any good to know your values if you aren’t going to do anything about it. So what action am I going to take?

1. Niacin. I’m taking the Niacin the doctor prescribed every night. At first it wasn’t pleasant, but I’m getting used to it.

2. Exercise. While exercise may not help my LDL/HDL, it is still good for me. I’m training for the Warrior Dash and will be running at least 3 days a week.

3. Diet. It’s time to admit to myself I can’t keep eating anything I want. Even if my weight/body shape are something I’m currently comfortable with. I’m going to have to go on a diet. I’d prefer low-carb, or slow-carb and a day off like Ferris suggest in the book. But I may have to look into a low-fat diet.

4. Keep measuring. Did you know Google has a health tracking site? Google Health. I’m putting all my labs in there. I’ve hooked it to my pharmacy so it automatically get any medicine I’m taking. Tracks my Wifings scale results. I put in BP when I get it taken.

Getting old sucks.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-01-16

  • Calling today's shoot Texas Vogue. If French Vogue gave firearm advice to the fashion conscious this would be the editorial images. #
  • Could someone with no firearms experience Kill Zombies? Immersion: Zombie Headshots #
  • After using Objective C for a long time, you forget how weird the calling syntax is to a C programer. Till you try to explain it one. #
  • #WarriorDash training begun. 5k, 32 degrees. #
  • Someone needs to teach the myLoneStar about useability and interface design. #
  • OK, DailyBurn's food scanner app is very cool. Integration with withing scale and Zeo Sleep are also good. Rest of their stuff sucks. #
  •'s diet tracking is good, but fitness tracking is almost absent. #
  • Any suggestions on good diet and fitness tracking? #
  • @RussellWebster A scale measures weight. Something else has to track those measurements. in reply to RussellWebster #
  • Just order my PHTLS book from Amazon. School starting back up next week. #
  • [Reactuate] How to Add a Running Total of How Long You’ve Blogged To Thesis #
  • Ron is now friends with Homer: Ron Davis is now friends with

    Homer Hillis #

  • Ron added 'How to Become a Straight-A Student: The Unconventional Strategies Real College Students Use to Score … #
  • I was getting really frustrated with my Zeo not giving me raw data. Then I found out they have a dev library to read the data file. Woot! #
  • @masonworld Cool. If you are ready to start photographing models, I know a cool podcast. 🙂 in reply to masonworld #
  • Ron made a comment on M.e. Anders's profile: Ron made a comment on M.e. Anders's profile:

    Some one… #

  • Ron voted on a poll: Ron



    in the

    Do you know HTML? #

  • Ron added 'How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe':
    Ron marked as to-read: How to Live Safel… #
  • None of these are Photographs. Superhuman Artists + Freakishly Lifelike Artwork | The Nonsense Society #
  • Just as an FYI, everyone has JVD when they are hanging upside down. #

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How to Add a Running Total of How Long You’ve Blogged To Thesis

UPDATE 04/04/2013: There’s some much easier code for this now. Check out the update post How Old Is Reactuate Exactly?

Doing some maintenance on my various blogs and remembered I used to have this code in my footer that showed how many years and days I’d been blogging. Spent way too much time looking for the code in old backups of this site.

Then I searched the site and found this post How to Add a Running Total of Years and Days You’ve Blogged. I use the Thesis theme now and so that code doesn’t work.

So this is an update for those who use thesis.

What to Put Where

1. Open your custom_functions.php. This is where you should make any changes to Thesis you are going to. Don’t go hacking the theme files. Then when you upgrade this code will stay in the footer.

2. Tell Thesis you want to replace the footer. We first have to add a line that tells Thesis we will write a routine to create the footer. So add this line towards the top of custom_functions.php:

add_action('thesis_hook_footer', 'custom_footer');

3. Write the code to replace the footer HTML. I don’t use the term code to describe HTML. For me code has to generate something and HTML just describes something. But we’re going to put in some PHP code to generate the days and years. And while we are there, we’ll make the copyright update too.

Here’s the whole function for the footer. Type or paste it into your custom_functions.php file and save. Then you’ll have the same footer I do. (Which you probably don’t want, so keep reading)

[cc lang=”php”]
function custom_footer() {
$beginDate = strtotime(‘October 28th, 2002’);
$diffTime = time() – $beginDate;
$days = round($diffTime/86400);
$years = round($days/ 356);
$daysLeft = $days – ($years * 365);

echo "<p>Blogging for ".$years." years and ".$daysLeft." days.</p>";
echo "<p>Copyright &copy 2002-".date( "Y" )." Ron Davis. All rights reserved.</p><br/>";
echo "<p>Get smart with the <a href=\"\">Thesis WordPress Theme</a> from DIYthemes.</p>";

Breaking It Down

1. Calculating the days and years. In my original code all the date calculation was in one line and part of the actual output. There was an error is this, so I broke it down too see what each part did.

$beginDate = strtotime('October 28th, 2002');
You have to know your first post’s date. Go look it up and replace my date with yours. The code converts that into a time format PHP likes ($beginDate) which is the number of seconds since whenever php starts keeping time.

$diffTime = time() - $beginDate;
Then we subtract that begin date from the current time. This gives us the total number of seconds you’ve been blogging. Not a very useful thing for people to read.

$days = round($diffTime/86400);
Next we do some division to get the number of days you’ve been blogging. In the original code I had it broken down for each subunit as part of the division. I just made it into one big number. The number of seconds in a day and divide our blogging seconds by that. Since this probably won’t be even, we just round off using the php round() function.

$years = round($days/ 356);
Now we have the number of days we’ve been blogging. Dividing that by 365 gives us the number of years. Not perfect – doesn’t take into account leap years – but close.

$daysLeft = $days - ($years * 365);
Then we take this number of years and subtract the days of the whole years from our total days. What’s left is how many days we’ve been blogging in the current year.

2. Make Your Footer HTML.The next part is just generating the HTML for the footer using the days and years we calculated. Remember this routine is in php, so you have to surround you HTML with an echo call.

echo "<p>Blogging for ".$years." years and ".$daysLeft." days.</p>";
The first line is the meat of what we created. It says we’ve blogged for so many years and day.

echo "<p>Copyright &copy 2002-".date( "Y" )." Ron Davis. All rights reserved.</p><br/>";
Then we display my copyright. And since I know the current year, I went ahead and used it so I don’t have to update the copyright. (I’m not sure that’s even needed, but it’s cool.)

echo "<p>Get smart with the <a href=\"\">Thesis WordPress Theme</a> from DIYthemes.</p>";
Lastly I put a link to Thesis – a great flexible theme – with my affiliate link. It’s a good example of how you can put anything you want in there.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-01-09

  • [Reactuate] Drawing From Concealment #
  • still sick, but the pukiing has stpped> There are advantages to having a best friend who is a Dr. #
  • [EMSNewbie] SP 03 Dr Bill Drees – #EMS #
  • iPhonECG The ECG Geeks coolest gadget ever! #EMS via @engadget #
  • How to Hack Studen Motovation link added to the Dr Drees episode show notes. #
  • [EMSNewbie] We Need Your Questions – #EMS #
  • Who at Apple thought the ^ should mean control key and that other weird symbol was Option. So unintunitive. Not very Apple. #
  • MacApp Store just crippled my TextWrangler. Can't save files in places that require authentication anymore. #
  • @bwebster I knew I should have gotten Suck It Down updated. I'd be on the front page. in reply to bwebster #
  • @bwebster or rather. ColorTagGen. in reply to bwebster #
  • @warriordash We need some Warrior Dash Wallpaper/Desktop Pictures. #
  • This is a cool Warrior Dash image. #
  • All my good snacks are at work. #
  • Lots of progress on the website redesign. Now some sleep so I can get up early and drive 2 hrs to jump out of an airplane. #
  • Woke up craving snacks, so now supplied. Shoe string potatoes, nuts, chips. Breakfast of champions. #
  • No Skydive today. But I get to take pictures of two models this afternoon in stead. #
  • Ron is spending his birthday evening at ESD-1 M95. 6pm-6am #
  • [Reactuate] A Dream Realized #
  • At the studio to do some shooting. #

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A Dream Realized

Was doing a little research into video hosting, and ran into my Viddler account. Mostly it contains my Beauty and Brains episodes, so I decided to watch Shawna’s.

I was impressed.

My first thought was Marc did such a great job editing that footage and cleaning up the audio. And Shawna was cool as talent. It was funny to think all that happen over 3 year ago in August 2008. And I’ve worked with those two so much since then and created so much cool stuff.

It reminded me of a blog post I remember writing about wanting a creative team. Three years before that in April 2005.

I want a cool group of friends, all of us striving to make it to the next level in our creative endeavors.

And now I have one.

Shawna and Marc are the core of that team. We communicate at least weekly on the projects we are working on. It’s not just my stuff either; we’ve worked on each other’s projects and helped each of us to grow and accomplish the things we wanted to. I’ve shot the concerts Marc has worked to bring to Houston – and Shawna has helped with that as well. I’ve shot promotional stuff for Shawna’s dance company and other projects she’s been part of. Obviously we’ve worked together on the Photographer And Model Podcast as well.

I should also mention my studio, Houston Skyline Studio and studio partners. We help each other grow and support our photography habits. That began in September 2006, with Bob Warren and Bobby Gilbert. Since then it has morphed and changed, but Bob and I are still involved – though I almost quit in 2009. Now my partners include Jerry Brown and John Watson. We are involved not only in our own stuff, but helping other photographers via our workshop and affiliate programs.

Sometimes you forget how far you’ve come. Then you see something from years ago and are surprised by the new perspective.

Drawing From Concealment

(This post was written in Feb of 2007 right after I went to Front Sight for the Four Day Defensive Handgun course and never posted.)
One of the things you learn at Front Sight is to draw from concealment. Which is good because most of the civilians getting the training are doing it because they have CHL/CCWs. I’ve been carrying a gun for over 5 years and have never really learned how to draw it from concealment before. I cringe now to think what would have happened if I’d tried to draw from under my sweater using the method I’d thought of using.

We did a lot of shooting and most of it was from the holster. We didn’t learn to do it from concealment till day three, but after that, we did most of the time. The end of class test was from concealment, under time pressure.

I learned a couple of things relevant to my carry from practicing for the test. First drawing from under a closed front garment is much slower than from an open front garment. I wanted to take the test like I carry and mostly I carry under a sweater in the winter and a untucked shirt in the summer. But even using the correct methodology it was slower to draw this way. Part of it is because there is an extra step. While open front has a step one that flips the garment back, it isn’t much different than not having the garment there. With a closed front you have to life the garment out of the way with both hands, which is an extra step before getting a grip on the weapon.

I’ve also discovered since I’ve been back that I sometimes have both. I’ll wear a jacket over my sweater over my gun. There is no fast draw from this. I have to flip back the jacket, trap it, then get both hands on the sweater and lift it. Sometimes I’ll actually lift the sweater over the gun when I go outside so I only have the jacket to move.

On further thought the best method might be to use the closed front draw when wearing both. It should work, the grabbing motion would get both garments and let you get a grip on the gun. You’d have more to hold out of the way with your support hand, but you could keep it all out of your way while you draw.

The important take away for all my CHL readers is to dry-practice drawing how you carry.