Jonathan Field - Maker of Random Stuff


It’s the day after my surgery and here I am touch typing so you can pretty safely assume I am alive and still in possession of both hands.

That is a good thing. However I would still say it has been a below average week.

1. On Monday night I pushed some Zappos code changes that caused enormous trouble… the site was down and/or behaving badly for about 2 1/2 hours. Hundreds of customers got error pages or erratic behavior. Because I was leaving Tuesday it was left for my good team to do the cleanup.

2. Upon arrival in San Francisco I foolishly left my backpack in the backseat of Sophie’s car while dining. The window was smashed upon our return and my bag was gone. The limited edition Zappos bag contained: my new 17″ PowerBook G4, my new electric shaver, some of my favorite clothes, my retainer, my checkbook, season two DVD’s for Millennium, the Cryptionomicon book, a Serenity comic and BBC Blue Ocean DVD set borrowed from a friend, my keys, and a pair of nice headphones. It also included a handful of business cards so at least i may have accomplished some networking.

3. Though no harm was done, the surgery didn’t go as planned. There was the plate and 9 screws… but after getting out six they couldn’t get out the last three. Apparently the bone had grown too hard around them and they stripped the heads trying to back them out. Somewhere in my mind I’m wondering why a $15K set of screws has allen heads instead of torx, but that’s not for me to judge. Anyways, the options at that point included prying and drilling out the screws, but Dr. Prieto felt it was too risky as it might re-break the bone, so they closed up and left the plate in. Though I’m disappointed that the plate and screws will be in there permanently, I do trust his judgment on the risk of having forced things. They did get to clean up the scar, though we won’t know how much of an improvement it is for months. And I do have the six screws that came out. They’re nice and shiny.

So time to move on. The arm is what it is. Hopefully there will be no complications later in life. I’ll probably buy an intel MacBook Pro to replace my stolen 17″. I’ve got a good todo list for Zappos to get things back on track.

Oh, I do plan to write up a sort of journal/story of my whole arm experience from beginning to end with pictures. Not that a lot of people will encounter anything similar, but I remember appreciating what little info I found when I poked around online after my injury. So I’ll add my experience to the mix. Sophie took some great pictures of me pre-surgery so I’ll remember what the scar looked like the first time. Hopefully something I’ll have up in the next couple months.

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11 Responses to Next!

  1. Sorry to hear about your hard, hard week. I hope next week goes better. It should, with a brand new shiny MacBook Pro.

    Er, so what’s this Zappos todo look like? Moving the system to Intel Macs?

    • Yes! It’s all Apple products from here on out! We’re porting the site to WebObjects, even.

      No, no. Just going to get the darn code changes live and eventually eliminating the customer site’s dependency on the PRI DB. Then setting up the last few dev queues, hiring, brining the new folks up to speed, making sure everyone in the company is getting served (in the McDonald’s sense, not the street dancing sense), and then with your help finding ways to make things better for y’all.

      Man, i sound like such a manager type now. Terrifying, really.

      Dude, those shirts were awesome. You got one, yeah?

      • Ah, I see. Good. I was wondering if I should roll my stuff back to the procedural db interface or not. I guess I won’t for now.

        Ya, I got a shirt, thanks. Aki got one to me just before I left. Whew! I wore it this afternoon as well, although you probably couldn’t tell. I’m really glad you liked it! I was impressed with the three screws on the back. A nice touch (if perhaps a bit cruel), I thought.

  2. Dude, you were all big on this new surgeon. And then he stripped a screw? What a pussy. I think you old your old doctor an apology.

    • You got it backwards, bro… this is the old doctor. This is the same dude who put the screws in. The guy I was ragging on was some dude from Vegas who claimed that a) the pain in my arm had nothing to do with the plate and b) there was no risk later in life from leaving the plate in.

      But yeah, oldschool or not he stripped a screw. I wish I had been awake and I could have given him some advice. I’ve had to deal with plenty of stripped screws before.

      • the only way to get a stripped screw out is to DRILL IT OUT, MOTHERFUCKER! BOOYAH!

        And I’m sure they didn’t want to put another hole in da bone. You gots, like, marrow in there and shit.

        But man, that sucks. I would have thought they’d be a little better about how they do this shit. I **guess** a phillips head screw is better than a flathead but it’s still kind of disturbing that surgical screws can get stripped.

        You should at least have had him put an rfid tag in there while you were opened up. Or maybe etch “VAN HALEN RULES!” on the plate.

        • I did say phillips on the original post, but upon closer inspection they are actually allen screws (just corrected my post). Still disappointed though. My guitar as allen screws. But my laptop has torx. The screws in my arm cost more than my laptop, so I woulda thunk….

          He did mention the idea of drilling them out. He said it’s an option but it’s a little more risky. I didn’t press him, but if I asked him to do it he probably would, it seemed like. But I got to take a break again. Surgery takes a lot out of you or something.

  3. frankly Id be pissed. I’m not sure which I’d be more pissed about though, the stolen laptop and goods or the plate still being in my arm now with only three screws. Wouldn’t it have made more sense if the things going to be stuck in there anyhow to put the rest of the screws back in? I don’t know but I advise hitting someone.

    The Intel iMac they got me for work is pretty nice but it’s not perfect. It hangs up here and there sometimes just trying to log in from my screen saver and I end up rebooting a lot. Well, not as much as I used to reboot PCs but more often than my PowerBook now.

    That said I can’t say I’ve had any major issues as yet.

    • I heard Jon also had a steel plate inserted in his penis.

      Which he had also broken while “arm wrestling”.


    • I’m a little pissed. I mean, if I woke up and he had rebroken my arm I’d be even more pissed, so I figure that’s the judgement call he made. I don’t want to second guess too much. But I had really been looking forward to getting the plate out. Now it seems like it’s permanent. Though I think I could demand another surgery if i wanted to push my luck.

      I’m pretty pissed about the laptop, too. My homeowner’s insurance might cover part of the cost, actually. Though I don’t know if i can come up with a receipt. And I do pretty regular backups: last one was March 15th. So I only lost a few personal data items.

      I didn’t want to buy a 15″ MacBook Pro, and I didn’t want to buy another 17″ G4. So Sophie has lent me her older 15″ PowerBook for the time being so i can wait out the 17″ MacBook Pro. Rumors place it in May sometime.

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