Saturday, February 25, 2012

Visual Studio 2012 drops on Leap-Day, Feb 29

I haven't blogged much in the past several years about my chosen profession as a software developer.  Today, I will.

I am a Microsoft .NET developer.  As such, it was big news for me {this past week} when Microsoft announced they would drop the newest revision of Visual Studio (2012 aka 11) On Wednesday, Feb 29 2012.  This going to come replete with the .NET 4.5 Framework, and the Entity Framework 5.0 built in.  The beta of ASP.NET MVC 4 was released several days ago, and it is also supposed to be built into .NET 4.5 framework.

For me, the .NET 4 framework was a snoozer.  The performance hit this version of the framework foisted upon us nullified any of the benefits it purportedly gave us.  Nothing about .NET 4 was compelling enough to make me want to accept the big slow-down in performance .  For the most part, I continued using the .NET 3.51 client framework in 64 bit mode.  This was the sweet-spot for high-performance data processing in an highly-automated environment like the one I work in.  A multi-threaded console application written in the .NET 3.51 framework, NGEN'ed for x64 processors, can process and transform millions of rows of financial records in very little time.

Most programmers just don't care about performance hits.  We just want to use the latest thing, so we can say we are state-of-the-art.  We are often content to throw away processing power for no good reason.  Most programmers don't think in financial terms about their code.  We are not good about evaluating the cost implications of the slow-downs we gladly accept.

Consider the following example.  A Microsoft blogger recently bragged on the performance improvements Entity Framework 5.0 would bring to the table.  He published performance test-data that indicated that UPON SECOND EXECUTION, EF5 would execute a transaction 400% slower than ADO.NET, whereas EF4.3 would execute it 2,300% slower than ADO.NET.  On first execution, EF5 is also 2,300% slower than ADO.NET.

These findings were advertised as a magnificent 600% speed up.  We were supposed to applaud.  We were supposed to smile as we learned that we would get this marvelous speedup for free when we upgraded to .NET 4.5.

So, I am to applaud when I discover that my transactional operations will performance a mere 400% slower under EF5 than they would if I wrote some better code.  It is better code, just to make sure you understand that.  It's not worse.  It's 400% better.  Better is as better does.

The real take home story of this blog post is that I will cut the carrying capacity of my enterprise servers by 75% if I accept the 400% slow-down that Entity Framework brings to the table.  Stated more precisely, I will need to buy 400% more servers (or virtual cloud capacity) in order to meet my needs if I fuck around with the Entity Framework.  This should come at something like a 400% increase in cost right?

Let's see... that would make me a fucking stupid bastard wouldn't it?  Waaahhhh...?  I am a stupid goddamn bastard if I fuck around with the Entity Framework, aren't I?  If I throw away 75% of my server's capacity and increase my costs 400% just so I can say I use the latest wiz-bang crap from Microsoft, I am a stupid bastard, aren't I?

There are a few non-lemmings like me around out there in the world.  We have been banging on Microsoft about these logical and financial problems.  When confronted with the facts found in their own publications, Microsoft ambassadors quickly fold over, admit that they have performance issues, and say that they aren't done tuning their code yet.  They promise us that big performance gains are still in the offing.  They are working on it.

They say we will be pleasantly surprised when we test the performance of the final goods.

What does this mean?  Perhaps they can get the performance hit down to 2:1?  Perhaps we will only throw away 50% of our server capacity and double our costs when the final edition is shipped?  Probably too good to be true.  I doubt the performance/cost picture will be that good when the final facts are published.

2012 is the year when I get serious about launching my own smart-phone web-enterprise.  You know I am working on a Synastry Engine right now, and I will need web-services to deliver the info to both phone-clients, web-customers, and potential partners.

If the objective is to make money, if the objective is to make a living, if the objective is to stay alive, I will need to think in economic terms about my code.  The entire structure and nature of my software project has to engineered in such a way as to maximize carrying capacity and minimize costs.  When writing code, I do so according to the same motto uses:  Be fast at any cost.  I don't care how hard the code is to write, if it performs faster, it is better code.  If it increases my carrying capacity, and reduces my costs, it is better code.

Such differentials will make the difference between life and death, if I am not doing well financially.  It will also make the difference between life and death if my project takes-off, and becomes the next big thing in the web world.  People don't understand the immediate survival problems over-night sensations experience when hundreds of thousands of new users begin to hit your web-apps every single day.  In this situation, carrying capacity is stretched to the utter limit.  You'll wish you had written leaner and meaner code if this ever happens to you.

It could make the difference between being able to self-finance and being forced to sell my asshole to investors.

Visual Studio 11 drops on Wednesday Feb 29, one day after I have surgery on my left hand.  I am going to have a bit of time-off for recovery.  I intend to play with this new system whilst I recover.  I won't be able to write new code, but I will be able to click the mouse and recompile old-projects under the new framework.  I will be able to benchmark how fast the new system works.

I suspect it will be a lot slower.  I hope it will be a lot faster.  I won't use it unless it is faster and more efficient.  You won't get my vote unless you improve my performance/cost profile.

Back to the combine! It's better than Christmas!

Last Thursday night's NFL Total Access was our first broadcast from combine in Indianapolis.  That is a significant significator.  It's the official start of the NFL draft season.  It's the unofficial start of the NFL business season also.

Love it!

I was pretty excited when I saw that the gang had been fully reassembled:  Mike Mayock, Charley Casserly, Charles Davis, Mike Lombardi, et al.  We'll be seeing Bucky Brooks and Corey Chavis soon also, I am sure.  I had heard rumors that Charley Casserly had signed exclusively with CBS Sports, and I was worried we wouldn't be seeing him on the NFL Network this year.  It is a good thing that rumor was false.  It wouldn't be the same without him.

It is so damn good to see you guys again!  You have no idea.  I was going to blog on this subject Thursday night, but I was a little preoccupied with prep for my next surgery on Feb 28, and a number of other mundane household subjects.

Sometimes I get a good feeling.  I get a feeling that I never, never, never had before.  I gotta feeling that this is going to be a really good draft.  The crop looks bountiful.  The crop looks good.  I am confident that we have some franchise changing players scattered across the top of this draft.  I am sure some of these kids will make it to the Hall of Fame.  It won't surprise me when they do.

Last year I complained bitterly about the poor quality of the seniors, the QBs and the offensive linemen.  I didn't like the Linebackers either.  Von Miller was the sole exception, and one of the three most exciting players in the Draft last year.

2011 was a poor draft year.  This is not the case in 2012.  This is a PH PHAT draft class.  The prospects look damn good to me thus far.  I am excited.

Speaking of Charley, he had the first Mock draft of the combine last night, and I think he pretty well nailed it.  Charley's list looked like this

  1. Colts:  Andrew Luck QB Stanford
  2. Browns (from Rams):  Robert Griffin III QB Baylor
  3. Vikings:  Matt Kalil OLT USC 
  4. Rams (from Browns): Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State
  5. Bucs:  Trent Richardson RB Alabama
  6. Redskins:  Morris Claiborne CB LSU
  7. Jaguars: Quinton Coples DE UNC
  8. Dolphins:  Riley Reiff OT Iowa
  9. Panthers:  Michael Brockers DT LSU
  10. Bills:  Courtney Upshaw OLB Alabama
Most of the others felt he nailed it too.  The most critical critique came from Coach Brian Billick, who said "Charley's got 9 out of the top 10 players, and 6 in the right spot, so he's only wrong by 4.  That's pretty good!"

I would say it's probably a little more accurate than that.   What are the points of disputation here?  I think they are as follows:
  1. The Redskins won't take Morris Claiborne
  2. The Bucs will take Morris Claiborne one spot earlier
  3. The Bucs won't take Trent Richardson. They already have a damn good power-back in LeGarrette Blount.
  4. The Redskins won't go quietly into the good night without a QB in this draft.  Rumor has it that they are adamant about getting Robert Griffin III.  Charley is presuming the Rams will chose to drop back just a couple of steps to gain some extra picks and still get our man (Justin Blackmon) a little bit cheaper.  I think that's a pretty good guess.  I can't see our team passing on some extra picks, but we won't want to lose Justin Blackmon either.  Most believe we would be reaching for him at the #2 pick, based on our critical need.  This is probably and accurate assessment of the situation.
  5. It is questionable whether the Dolphins would take another tackle so high in the draft when they already have the best OLT in all of football.  Riley Reiff would be relegated to right tackle duties, and generally, you don't take a right tackle so high.  Charley has said this himself.  I do understand the logic, though. Riley Reiff would seem to be the perfect bookend companion and counterpart to Jake Long.  If you get Peyton Manning in Miami, you might want to make this pick.  It will be a very tempting choice if Manning comes to town.
  6. Some would dispute the Bills taking Courtney Upshaw, but the more I think about it, the more I think it is the perfect fit.  The Bills play a 3-4 defense and they need a pass-rushing elephant linebacker.  There is none better in 2012 draft than Courtney Upshaw.  He is an ideal choice for their needs and scheme.  Call me foolish, call me irresponsible, call me a dreamer, but I think he would go great with Marcell Dareus.  Wait... hasn't that been tried?  Did that workout once before?
  7. Many of us are still questioning whether Trent Richardson will wind up going so high in the draft.  It's not that he's unworthy of the pick, he is a very worthy dude, but rather the fact that the RB position is so deeply deprecated in the modern NFL.  Most GMs just don't believe that you take an RB so high in the draft.  As always, it will only take one GM to make it happen, tho.
I look forward to many more of these blog posts as the Draft season continues.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The hottest damn chili peppers the world has ever known

Anyone who reads this blog knows I have more than a casual interest in culinary things.  One of those culinary things involves spicy foods.  I like cooking with chilies.  I like Jamacan Jerk Chicken.  I like Red Beans and rice.  I love Chicken Gumbo.  I use real 90,000 cu Cayenne pepper.  I like hot sauce.  I like habenero pepper jack cheese.  I don't like jalapeno peppers, but this is mostly because they are weak and their flavor is terrible.  Give me the Habenero.

The chemical burn of the chili is measured in Scoville Units.  The Scoville scale is a measure of how many grams of water it takes to wash out 100% of the Capsaicin found in the chili you are testing.  The more Capsaicin, the more water it will take to eliminate it.  The more Capsaicin, the hotter the burn.

A few years ago, I blogged about my efforts to grow the infamous Ghost Chili, AKA the Bhut Jolokia.  I was unsuccessful.  My pepper crop failed.  I was very disappointed.  At the time, the Ghost Chili was the undisputed world's heavyweight champion of hot chili peppers.  It's devastating stuff too, according to all reports.

How devastating is the Ghost Chili?  Just to give you an idea, a typical Jalapeno will score about 1,000 SU on the Scoville Scale.  Because of tremendous quality control problems, some Jalapeno will go as high as 5,000 SU {which is another great reason to avoid using this lousy chili}.

This is nothing in comparison to the Ghost Chili.  The Ghost Chili will typically score about 1,000,000 on the Scoville scale.  That is three orders of magnitude higher.  We're talking about a 1,000:1 increase in power.

This means you would need 1,000 Jalapeno pepper to equal just 1 Ghost chili.  It only takes 100 Habenero peppers to equal a single Ghost, but that is no comforting thought to most of you.  Most of you would go white with terror over the thought to putting 100 Habenero peppers in a pot of soup.  You would be doing something like that if you dropped a single Ghost chili in your stew.

Unfortunately for the Ghost Chili, the old king is dead.  Long live the new king. Early last week, the L.A. Times broke the story that a new king had been crowned.  The new boss is the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion.  The Scorpion is properly named, as this evil bastard is pure poison.  It is 20% more powerful than the old king, pepper for pepper, ounce for ounce.  The old boy routinely scored 1,000,000.  The new kid scores 1,200,000 Scoville Units.

The good news is that the Scorpion is said to have a wonderful flavor.  We are told that when when the Scorpion is properly diluted in a sauce, you get a salsa so delicious and addictive, you just can't stop eating it.  Some authorities are already confidently predicting that the next ICS Chili champion will probably make use of the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion.

You are fucking around with pure hell though.  Be careful.  I know.  I have already obtained my supply.  We've had two very fun-filled days with the stuff at work.  Most of us have given it a try, and the results are hilarious.  This is fun-filled return to the days of high school and college.  It's been more fun that a barrel full of monkeys loaded with MDNA.

I have sampled the goods.  The aroma is overwhelming.  It's almost like getting a whiff of smelling salts.  The ground chili powder made from the Scorpion will clear your sinuses.  Just a few grains on your pinky will light-up your entire mouth.  Two doses will cause sweat to break out on your forehead and upper lip.  The flavor is decent.  It will be better when mixed with real food.

The funny thing is how many smiles and laughs break out afterwards.  Believe me, it's not a miserable experience.  Scientific rumor has it that human beings enjoy Capsaicin because it inflames the pleasure centers of the limbic system in the brain.  There is a true pleasure in this stuff.

This is the shit, jack!  I'm not bullshitting you:  I don't think you will ever find anything hotter than this stuff, and it is fun too!  It makes Cayenne seem trivial in comparison.  Nothing on God's Earth that blocks or tackles or runs or throws can compete with this thing.  This is devastating.

I plan to use this in a Mac-N-Cheese this weekend.  I am going to dilute a few sprinkles of Scorpion powder in 24 ounces of milk, and 16 ounces of cheese.  This should be sufficient to make the burn tolerable.  I am still expecting a hot Mac.

Next, I will make Red Beans and Rice.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Virgo-Pisces Alliance 229: Sir Francis Drake & Elizabeth I

So, last night I finally caught Elizabeth, the 1998 masterpiece that introduced Cate Blanchett to the world.  As you may know, this is about the early days of Queen Elizabeth I, when she was besieged by treasonous plotters orchestrated by the Pope of Rome.

The way the movie presents the story, she has powerful enemies all around her, including her personal favorites...  Even the man she would marry... if she could.  One dude steps up to the plate, in the darkest hour, and saves her ass.  This guy literally kills for her.  Ultimately, he knocks out all of her enemies.  That guy was Sir Francis Drake.

Drake's motivation was the puzzle that caused me to look all this up.  Here we found a dirty privateer, a grungy and dirty guy of the world, seemingly capable of anything.  For some reason, he takes a hard stand against all of the other worldly and dirty guys of the world... for a woman he's not banging.  Why did he do it?  Why would Drake take such a mortal gamble against all the powerful players?  The movie seems to portray Drake's stand as an irrational act of personal loyalty.

It wasn't blind loyalty either.  He knew the risk he was taking.  He took it despite the lousy odds.  This seemed very strange to me.

Well folks... I want you to look this one up yourself and find out if I tell you the truth.  Queen Elizabeth I was a September 7 Virgo.  In the movie, she's played by Cate Blanchett: a May 14 Taurus.  We do not know the exact date of Sir Francis Drake's birth, but they place the date in late February or Early March.   You know what that means, don't you?  He was a Pisces.  In the movie, he's played by Geoffrey Rush: a July 6 Cancer.

Yes, this famous chapter of Brittish history is another 180 degree tale for you.  It's another chapter in the history of the Virgo-Pisces Alliance.

Elizabeth was also known as a the Virgin Queen.  She entertained several suitors, but couldn't have the one she wanted, so she never married.  If you can't be with the one you love, you're better off with none.  That's very Virgo.  I am like that.

Sir Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, was her favorite dude in the world.  He happened to be a June 24 Cancer guy.  According to the movie, Sir Robert was involved in plots to overthrow Elizabeth, but she wouldn't kill him.  Drake wanted to kill him.  Even in a blood-feud, she couldn't pull the trigger on the water guy.  She found a way to spare her Cancer guy.

It's worth noting that a certain Taurus dude named William Shakespeare prospered under Elizabeth.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Another 180 degree tale for you today

So I just finished watching an episode of Ancients Behaving Badly, the series that studies many of the great figures of history as criminal psychopaths.  In the end, the show attempts to rate each on of the episode subjects on a scale of criminal psychopathy.

I'm a big fan of this show.  This is the show that teaches us that most of the great figures of history are worthy of our scorn, not hero worship.  They are blood-thirsty megalomaniacs, for the most part.

This episode was about Cleopatra.  It was quite fascinating.   Boy was she one for the record books!  What an eye-opener.  This woman quite literally killed all her brothers & sisters to ensure her firm grip on control of the throne of Egypt.

Of course, sex and seduction are the heart of Cleopatra's tale.  She seduces a 52 year old Julius Caesar, when she is a mere 18 year old nymph.   Later, at the age of 28, she seduces his successor, the 42 year old Mark Antony.  All reports indicate that they had a blistering sexual firestorm for the ages.  It was not just political, in their case.  There was a sexual meltdown in progress there also.

Naturally, this made me curious about the synastry of the situation.  As a dedicated investigator, I wanted to see what I could find out about the situation.  The facts of the case are these:

  1. Cleopatra's birth date is not known.  We do not know the month either.  This is despite spurious sources who claim she was born in January.  No ancient sources support this claim.
  2. Julius Caesar 's deification celebration was reportedly set for his birthday, and this festival was routinely celebrated on July 12.  This would make his birthday July 12, 100 B.C., making him a Cancer.  That's a fine Cardinal sign for a Roman Emperor.  There is some uncertainty about his birth, but such is the case for all ancient figures.
  3. Mark Antony's birthday stands pretty well confirmed.  It is set for January 14, 83 B.C., making Mark a Capricorn.
  4. Mark Antony was always a steadfast ally and close friend of Julius Caesar.  This is how he became a member of the Triumvirate after the assassination of Caesar.
  5. What a co-inky-dinky!  Julius and Mark just happen to be 180 degree opposites!  January 14 is 182 days after July 12.  182 is pretty dang close to the magic figure of 182.625.
So, for a dude interested in Synastry and the sex of the situation, we just need to guess what sign is mostly likely to set both a Cancer and a Capricorn on fire.  That's not hard to reckon either.  These 180 degree opposites are quite likely to have similar tastes and preferences.  There are two obvious choices:  Taurus and Scorpio.

Why do I say that?  First, Taurus and Scorpio are both well-aspected towards both Cancer and Capricorn; especially in a sexual sense.

Second, Cleopatra was a notorious nymphomaniac.  She had a sex drive that just wouldn't quit.  There are rumors that she once took on 100 men in a gang-bang, just to see if she could do it.  The legend has it that she succeeded.  You are probably going to need to come equipped with the highest of all sex drives if you intend to do something like that.

All sources agree that, on average, Taurus and Scorpio have the two highest sex drives of the Zodiac.  The majority report says Scorpio has the highest of all sex drives.  The minority report states Taurus has the highest sex-drive.  I side with the majority on this issue.  It's Scorpio.

I am going to have argue that Cleopatra was a Scorpio.  Her tendency to use her sexuality for the political cause rivals that of James Bond.  We all know that he was a Scorpio.  {You know that right?}

Further, this is a pretty evil and violent figure.  Call me foolish, call me irresponsible, call me a myopic Virgo dude, but this doesn't fit the profile of Taurus as I know them.  Taurus, ruled by Venus, is a very soft sign for a female.  They are known for the gentility, patients and aesthetics.  I find it hard to believe a Taurus woman could do the things reported of Cleopatra.  My gut says no.

On the other hand, Scorpio is ruled by Mars and Pluto... this is a poisonous little critter of a different order entirely.  I do not find it difficult to believe a Scorpio woman could do the things done by Cleopatra.  On the contrary, I think it is totally possible for a Scorpio woman to do these things.  Maybe even likely.

Of course, Adolf Hitler was a Taurus, but this is a pretty singular exception.

We can go further.  Scorpio has a tremendous desire for dominance and control.  According to many sources, Scorpio women are attracted to men based on their power levels.  They like to borrow power from the guy they are with and exercise control in his name.  Believe me, I have first hand knowledge of this situation.  I have seen it in action, day after day.

This pattern fits Cleopatra to a 'T'.  Cleopatra specifically goes after Julius Caesar and Mark Antony precisely because she sees them as the most powerful allies she can have.  She sees them as a the assurance of her control over Egypt.  She sees them as increasing her power-base, not diminishing it.

Many feminists studies have been done on Cleopatra's behavior, and they routinely lament the fact that this women did not believe she could stand on her own.  Rather, she felt she had to partner with a powerful man in order to secure and retain power herself.  This is quite accurate, and it was also probably necessary at the time.  However, it also fits the Scorpio woman's profile perfectly.

I find all this extremely interesting, and even more pitiful.  Mark Antony was probably a good Capricorn brother before this evil Scorpio bitch got ahold of him.  What a shame!  You know... I know of a Capricorn brother being destroyed in just this way...  It's in progress.  I can't save him from this fatal monster.  She's gonna wreck him.


An interesting note about synastry

As you know, I experienced one heck of a synastry reaction with Rihanna's back-up singer, Ashley Haney, just a couple of days ago.  I went looking around for her birthday information.  I found nothing certain, but I found some fascinating clues.

I found two "happy birthday" videos dedicated to Ashley Haney uploaded to the Youtube.  One was dated September 1, 2010.  The other was dated August 14, 2011.  Logically speaking, her birthday must be bracketed by 8/14 and 9/1.  As you know, I was born September 2.  If my analysis is correct, this makes Ashley my home-girl.  She's a summer time girl from around the way in my hood.  She is almost equally likely to be a Leo or a Virgo by date-space:  9 days of Leo, 8 days of Virgo.  Under the side-real, she's all Leo, but then again, so am I.

There are a couple of very quick lessons to take out of this:

  1. Conjunction is a very powerful thing, if she is a Virgo.  Conjunction is a very powerful thing, if she's a Leo and I am a Leo.
  2. If she is a Leo, what is it 'bout 'dem Leo girls and your author...?  I seem to have made a deal in the Akashic Record Library in which I swapped Taurus for Leo.
  3. Rihanna was born 2/20/1988.  Tomorrow is her birthday.  There are 175 days between August 14 and Feb 20.  175 is pretty dang close to 182.625.  These two are pretty dang close to that magical 180 degree Yin/Yang angle I keep harping about.
  4. Don't you find it a bit curious Rihanna would chose a 180 degree angle girl for her back-up singer?  Would this not fit the theory perfectly?
  5. This seems to be a feather in the cap of the Side-Real or Jyotish camp.  The Vedic Astrologer has an easier time explaining Ashley's effect on me, and her partnership with Rihanna at the same time.  Under the Jyotish scheme, Ashley is a Leo, and I am a Leo (conjunction).  Under the Jyotish scheme, Ashley is a Leo and Rihanna is an Aquarian (opposition).  Pretty parsimonious.
  6. Under the Tropical scheme, Ashley is probably a Leo, whilst I am a Virgo and Rihanna is a Pisces.  Leo is not especially fantastic with either Virgo or Pisces, on average.  Under the Tropical scheme, both Rihanna and I would have considerable quantities of fire in our charts, ergo it could work.  Nevertheless, this scheme requires access to a lot more variables to make it all make sense.  This is not parsimonious.
  7. The principle of parsimony is pretty simple.  If two theories have equal explanatory power and accuracy, the simpler theory is the better theory.  The Jyotish system seems to enjoy the lead in parsimony here.
  8. In short, the final lesson emerging from all of this is that conjunction and opposition are the two most powerful aspects in the system.  Everything else is weaker.
Who knows... maybe I love them Leo girls and they love me because I am one of them.  Perhaps the Jyotish Side-Real system is the correct system.

This still leaves open the difficult question of why Taurus women don't seem to like me.  Under the Jyotish system, many of these women would become Aries, and some would become Pisces.  We would expect the Jyotish Pisces to be disinterested (or even afraid) or the Jyotish Leo.  However, we would expect the Jyotish Aries to very attracted to the Jyotish Leo.

I have not found it to be so.  I have found that there are plenty of girls born 182.625 days away from me who don't give a damn about me.  They are Jyotish war goddesses.  Some of them should love a Jyotish fire-lion.  I need to decode this riddle.  The puzzle bothers me.

The end of Carpal Tunnel: Time for more surgery.

If I had died at the age of 41, I would have died with just one surgery on my record.  That was a  tonsillectomy that took place when I was about 6 or 7 years old.  That's even more interesting given the fact that most doctors consider  the tonsillectomy an unnecessary procedure in this day and age.  It's an artifact of a bygone era, and a mistaken approach of an archaic past.

As it happened, I lived past age 41, and I have had 3 surgeries in the past 3 years.  Really, it's more like 3 surgeries in the past 26 calendar months.  I've had both knees done, and the gastric bypass.

Guess what?  It's time for more.  Surgery number 4 & 5 are on tap over the next two months.  Dr. Eli Ziv, a buddy and partner of Dr. Bachner, will be cutting into the palms of my hands.  I was supposed to contact that surgical scheduler Friday to set the date for my right hand.  I hesitated.  I'll get to him Monday.  We'll get the left hand next...  Dr. Ziv is the hand specialist in the orthopedic surgery group Bachner is partnered with.  His mother-in-law also happens to work for my company.

I am a little queezey, but grateful.  This will be the end of the Carpal Tunnel that's (1) holding me back and (2) driving me crazy.  Although I detest going under the knife again, this syndrome can't end soon enough.  The sooner the better.

So just what is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), and how do you fix it surgically?  First, CTS is not tendinitis created by typing all-day-long.  To be frank, it's not even a repetitive stress injury.  Incompetent doctors of the 1990s characterized it as such when it was a very trendy diagnosis in the new era of info-tech employees.

True CTS occurs when the transverse carpal ligament in the palm of your hands grow stronger, larger, heavier, or inflamed.  When this occurs, the ligament applies a crushing pressure on the median nerve that runs along the Carpal tunnel of the wrist.  This crushing pressure effectively cuts off the electrical signal from the brain to portions of the hand.  The solution is to surgically bisect the transverse carpal ligament.  Cut in half, the transverse carpal ligament can no longer apply a crushing pressure to the carpal tunnel or the median nerve.  The condition is eliminated.

So you slash a tendon, leave it slashed in half, and you release the pressure.  Whooooooaaaaa!  Slashing tendons permanently?  Isn't that going to cripple your hands?

Nope.  It turns out that the transverse carpal ligament is an evolutionary vestige of biological epochs long gone.  It is just like the appendix in your intestines.  It now serves no purpose.  Anthropologists, of whom I am one, believe that this vestige was once used by human ancestors who walked on all fours, on the palms of their hands.  The transverse carpal ligament helps the palm of the hand function better as a heel, but not much in this day and age.  It has degenerated considerably.

Ergo, you can slash it without any long-term ill-effects.  In the short-run it hurts like a sonofabitch.  More hydrocodone.

When Doctor Ziv explained all this to me, my natural response was "Well shit, Doc!  You shouldn't have told me that!  I have a perfectly good Spyderco ZDP-189 knife right here in my pocket.  I'll fix that nasty transverse carpal ligament right here, right now.  I am DIY guy!"

Nah!  Just kidding.

So the question remains:  how in the world does the transverse carpal ligament grow strong, heavier, swollen, or inflamed? How the hell does any tendon grow thicker and stronger?  Through exercise and heavy use, that's how.

Who knows what it was in my case.  Was it the shake weight?  Was it the kettlebells?  Was it push-ups and pull-ups?  Was it the ROM?  Was it Elliptical Cross Trainer?  Was it Olympic Rowing?  In sooth, I shall never know.  The key point is that I subjected myself to a vast array of exercises over the 10 months prior to the eruption of this problem, and all of them could have contributed to the strengthening of this ligament.

Dr. Ziv also mentioned that hormonal changes could contribute to the thickening and strengthening of this ligament.  What hormonal changes?  To the best of my knowledge, ligaments and tendons only respond strongly to one hormone:  HGH, human growth hormone.  This is released in great quantities during weight loss, and body building.  Many of the substances I use promote the release of HGH.  I am sure that the quasi-natural supply of HGH in my body is way higher now than it was 1 year ago.  This is why I am doing the Benjamin Button thing.  HGH is the key hormone in age-reversal.

Unfortunately, even this blessed condition can have unwanted side-effects.  I hit the Jack-Pot again.  This means I get to have surgeries #4 and #5.  Shit...

In verity and sooth, this isn't all that bad.  Dr. Ziv says that there is only about a 5% chance that the transverse carpal ligament can regenerate, and the CTS re-appear.  There is a 95% chance that he will slash my wrist, and I will never be bothered by this condition for the rest of my life.  When you think about all that I have gained (and lost) in the past year, this isn't such a high price to pay.  It could have been dramatically worse.

If everything works out for me, this will be a one-time-only fix, and I can go on about my business.