Erik Heerlein’s Weblog

End of the blog (I think)

Posted in Uncategorized by erikheerlein on November 2, 2008

Given the few posts that I have made since starting this blog, I am thinking that blogging just is not my cup of tea. While it is handy for posting pics and little tidbits of information for my friends, I am finding that Facebook is much better suited for sharing the daily minutia that makes up my life.

Not only am I more inclined to check and update my Facebook profile, but most of my friends are already on Facebook as well so the flow of information goes both ways. A blog is more suited for dispensing long form writing to the general public about a specific topic. I am not trying to create a following or buzz about my latest book release or speaking engagement.

So if you want to keep up with what’s going on in my life, then join me on facebook. Otherwise, don’t expect any more new posts on this blog until I can figure out a viewpoint and strategy that would make it worth maintaining.


Drunk History

Posted in No Comment, Odd/Weird/Funny by erikheerlein on October 10, 2008

Drunk History. History like you’ve never heard it before, told by drunk people.

Wordle – generate word clouds

Posted in No Comment, Odd/Weird/Funny by erikheerlein on October 6, 2008

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text.


Sample one that I made

Sample one that I made

A retrofitted garbage truck to live in.

Posted in No Comment by erikheerlein on October 3, 2008

These were emailed to me.

The Giant Pool of Money – The financial crisis explained

Posted in Uncategorized by erikheerlein on September 29, 2008

I could understand the attraction to those mortgages that the banks were selling. You could get a house without any income or assets. But what I never understood was the attraction for banks to give money to people who they wouldn’t even look at before.

This May 9th 2008 episode of This American Life takes a layman’s view and explains it all pretty well.


Posted in No Comment, Odd/Weird/Funny by erikheerlein on September 26, 2008

Wooden USB Memory Sticks

Posted in No Comment, Odd/Weird/Funny by erikheerlein on September 26, 2008

The sticks are picked from the woods and are manually selected on their natural beauty,
professionally handmade into unique and personal USB memory sticks.

Zip Codes and Area Codes

Posted in Factoids/Trivia by erikheerlein on September 16, 2008

I’ve never bought any furniture as there have always been relatives or friends who have had furniture that they no longer needed. As such, most of my furniture is older than I am and comes with a story. The oval coffee table that recently made it’s way into my living room used to belong to my great-uncle Kurt, and had a little story of it’s own to tell.

It’s not like an episode of “Antiques Roadshow” where I found out that it once belonged to Thomas Jefferson and he might have written a draft of the Declaration of Independence on it. Nay, this story is a little more mundane.

In one of the drawers was a receipt for the marble top that my great-uncle had ordered in 1962 for the table, which he had made himself (he was a furniture-maker).

The interesting thing to note is the phone number and the zip code, or rather, the lack of one.

I know from old movies that phone numbers were not always ten digits long. “Operator, get me Brentwood 6997”. And I know that the post office didn’t always have the zip code system but what struck me as odd was that I thought both of those systems were in place way before 1962.

The Post Office started issuing “postal zones” for large cities in 1943, which explains the “New York 9”.

By the early 1960s a more general system was needed, and on July 1, 1963, non-mandatory ZIP codes were announced for the whole country.

Area codes too, were not common place until the 1960s.

In order to facilitate direct dialing calls, the NANP was created and instituted in 1947 by AT&T, also known as the Bell System, the U.S. telephone monopoly. At first, the codes were used only by long-distance operators; the first customer-dialed calls using area codes did not occur until November 101951, when the first directly-dialed call was made from Englewood, New Jersey to Alameda, California.[2] Direct dialing was gradually instituted throughout the country, and by the mid-1960s, it was commonplace in most larger cities.

I guess this receipt was printed a couple of years before it was used, or in 1962, you could still place a call by getting the operator and asking for “Canal 8-1110”.

Honey – it’s good for more than pancakes and toast.

Posted in Personal Health Status by erikheerlein on September 14, 2008

The leg is coming along nicely and the only problems have been two separate skin infections at the incision site. It may be true that by not shaving before the surgery, you spare the skin from irritation and possibly spreading bacteria, but the fact remains that you still have hair to deal with after the surgery. And for me, the hair was acting as a pathway for bacteria to travel along and get under the scab and into the incision.

The remedy was to clear out any hair near the incision and scab. I then treated the infections with repeated hot compresses of Epson salts to draw out as much toxins as I could and covered any open areas with Manuka honey.

Now, covering your leg in honey sounds like an old folk remedy up there with putting butter on a burn, but it actually has legitimate medicinal properties and it worked for me. Manuka honey is from bees who feed on the flowers of the Manuka bush, also known as the “Tea Tree”, to produce a honey that has anti-bacterial properties. Tea tree oil is commonly from the related Melaleuca tree native to Australia and is used as a topical antibiotic and antifungal for wounds that fail to close. It also goes well with toast.

I am also now able to put enough weight on the leg so that I can stand on both feet without the use of crutches. This lets me brush my teeth without holding onto the sink and I can also stand up in the shower which is a nice change of pace.

As far as range of motion, I have regained about 97.0524% of what I was before, give or take a percentage point. Which is nice since the docs say that most people find it hard to get back their mobility and if they don’t keep up the therapy, they’ll never get back what they had.

Hurricane Hanna didn’t do any damage here. In fact, it was downgraded to just a tropical depression by the time it made landfall. Other than that, it’s pretty quiet in the Palmetto state. Although we did get a new license plate for 2008.

Photos from July 4th weekend at Hood River, Oregon

Posted in Travels by erikheerlein on September 10, 2008

I have finally gotten around to putting up the photos and videos from the infamous Hood River Invitational and Land Surfing competition, where I impressed the judges with my poise and ability to stick the landing. I was so victorious that a special helicopter was called in to carry me off so I didn’t have to commingle with the unwashed masses. Contact Terry if you want to see photos of the ensuing awards ceremony, I was too busy being pampered and attended to by the fine hospitals awards committee of greater Portland and Hood River.

Below are links to the entire week from June 28th-July 7th.

Hi-res version

Low-res version