Archive for December, 2009


I use a VPS (Virtual Private Server) to provide mail and web services for our companies.  This off-loads the server and internet maintenance for our high speed internet server requirements.  The hosting center provides services we simply could not afford to provide directly and at a much more reasonable cost.  Domain configuration and maintenance is mostly performed from a web “control panel”.  Low level host configuration control can be done from a Linux command line using an SSH connection.

The Plesk control panel is connected to via SSL (https:// URL) on port 8443 by default.  This generally works out very well, except when I am on the road and find myself behind a restrictive firewall that only allows web connections on standard ports – port 80 for http and port 443 for https.  When this occurs, I need a way to access the server administration interface without resorting to using my 3G telephone connection.   This turns out to be a perfect opportunity for working with subdomains and Apache proxy support to transparently forward ports 80 and 443 to port 8443 on the same server.

After several hours searching with Google and reading many various proxy solutions and approaches, I discovered a posting on, Running Plesk on Port 443, that covered my requirements and almost worked for me.  I recommend reading the excellent information provided in the post to better understand what I have done.

Read more…

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While browsing the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center web pages, I came across a U.S. News & World Report video.

Update: The video appears to no longer be available after a reorganization of the U.S. News & World Report web site.  I’m trying to locate a replacement link. – Bill

There is a whole series of health care videos available on the U.S. News and World Report web site.

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Heart Health

Mitral Valve Prolapse

At 30, I was diagnosed as having Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP).  The mitral valve between the left atrium and left ventricle does not close properly and may “leak”.  This is a common cause for hearing a murmur when listing with a stethoscope.  At that time, I had several tests run and was told it was not an immediate concern and I should have periodic monitoring to see that it didn’t worsen.  Seeing as how I felt fine, I said “OK” and returned to my normal routine and didn’t really give it much additional thought.

Then, during a routine physical in 2002, my doctor in Cleveland commented on the murmur and recommended a followup — it had been over 10 years since my original (and only) testing.  I still felt fine, but went ahead with the request.  The ultrasound showed “significant” regurgitation (leaking), but I was still feeling good and had no related problems.  It was decided to monitor for any changes.  Again,  I said “OK” and returned to my normal routine and was not concerned.

Things Change

This summer, things changed.  I had a heart attack that required intervention.  Two stents were placed and I was put on blood pressure medication – and it was suggested I reduce my weight.  I definitely needed to lose weight as I had allowed my self to gain 60-plus pounds in the last 10 years.  It was also noted that the MVP was present and I had significant regurgitation – 3-plus on a scale of 0-4.  This would now need frequent monitoring to avoid future complications.

Self portrait.

Self portrait from my hospital bed

I was feeling good and looking forward to getting home when  my hospital stay was lengthened for a couple of days of monitoring due to a short episode of atrial fibrillation. Like the MVP, I was asymptomatic and unaware of the atrial fibrillation.

After I was back home, I began making necessary changes to my diet. No more “convenience” foods from the freezer section at the grocery store.  I enjoy cooking, so I started fixing all of my meals with consideration for heart health.  Low sodium does not have to be low flavor.  This part was actually easy.  I also started back with my bicycling.  10-20 miles to start and then up from there.  I was feeling great!

Read more…



Pre-op testing

I’m at the Cleveland Clinic today getting my pre-op tests. It seems like a good opportunity to try out the iPhone WordPress app. I’ll try to update the entry as the day progresses.

I’m scheduled for back to back tests and consults for the whole day — 8:00 am to 3:30 pm. First thing I noticed was they have the EKG, chest x-ray, blood work set up like an assembly line. Check in and then go from station to station. Smooth and fast.

I posted too soon.  When it was time for the blood tests, things fell apart.  15 minutes in line to register and an additional 30 minute wait to have my name called.  They were busy!  After this, things went slow for the rest of the day.  Most of my time was spent waiting and going from area to area, but not enough time to get this updated.

Everything was completed by 3:30 pm and my surgery is on for 23-Dec.


What a weekend

It was an interesting weekend.

After I finished work on Saturday, Brenda and I had plans to go to a wine tasting – and hot tub party.  Don and Lois have been hosting this as an annual gathering for years. It would be good to spend some time with friends, have good food, and sample the wines.  On my way home, I picked up a wine for the wine exchange and steal and some ingredients for the covered dish I was fixing.

Thought I would be able to relax with Brenda and then do the cooking and have a fun evening.  So much wishful thinking!  When I got home Brenda had other ideas.  She was having problems with her blog (Oh! Gemma) that needed my attention.  The blog was fine, but she has ventured into the world of electronic publishing and was trying to make her work available for purchase and download.  Not difficult, but something unfamiliar.

In the middle of “patiently” helping her with image editing and file uploading, I get a call… from my daughter… “Dad…” it starts out and she is cut off.  Uh-oh!  This opening is never good.  I call her back and she tells me there has been an accident – no one is hurt, but she needs me there.  Long story short – she was slow to brake and hit another car in the rear when they stopped unexpectedly.  The car she hit proceeded to hit another car.  Three cars involved, no reported injuries, and low speeds. My daughter had to have her car towed, the others were driven home by the owners.  I handled the initial insurance claim call and then we went home. Time for some of that wine!

Went home and fixed my chicken with rice dish and off to the party.  No dwelling on the accident, it is up to the insurance company now.

It was a great evening!



There are so many commitments with work, that I am in here on a Saturday.  When no one else is around, there are fewer distractions and no interruptions.  It is easier to stay focused on the current task.

At least that was the plan.

Seems several other people had the same idea.  And… here I was to answer any questions that would normally wait until Monday.  My “answer”?  I put on my headphones, cranked up “Bond” and pretended to not hear them!  It mostly worked.


This is my entry into the wonderful world of the blog.  Not that I generally have anything to publish that would be of interest to others… but who knows!

I will be using this as sort of a running journal/diary.  There is a lot going on with work, family, and life in general.  Keeping some sort of record could preserve some memories and offer insights that would otherwise be gone.  We’ll see.