Natasha Richardson

I was shocked when I first heard about the tragic accident that took the life of Natasha Richardson.  I am finding it hard to accept that a small fall could cause a fatal brain injury.  While the privacy of her family out weighs everything else, I do hope that they announce the results of her autopsy. 

There haven’t been any details about the accident itself.  I wonder how much force was involved.  I can remember two other high profile skiing accidents that involved fatal brain injuries.  There was Michael Kennedy’s fatal collision with a tree on the slopes of Aspen, back in December of 1997.  That was followed by Sonny Bono’s tragic death a week later under similar circumstances.  Speed does kill, a helmet could saved their lives.

I’m wondering if Richardson had a pre-existing condition.  She could have had a brain aneurysm.  That could have triggered the fall, or more likely, the fall made the aneurysm worse.  My father had a brain aneurysm once and he had many of the same symptoms that Richardson had reported.  He was lucky, surgeons were able to clamp the aneurysm before it caused any permanent damage to his brain.  With Natasha Richardson, a blood vessel that was already leaking started opening up after the fall and by the time they got her to the hospital it was already too late.  My heart goes out to her sons and her husband, this is a a tragic loss.

What to do before your camera is stolen

I just read about a guy in Poland who bought a camera on an on-line auction and it came with a memory card with someone’s travel pictures. He figured that the camera had been or lost or stolen. Based on a picture, he guessed the owner was from Australia.  So he registered as a new member on a Australian photography web forum and solicited the members for help. 

With a little bit of sleuthing, they tracked down the owners and sent them their pictures.  The last few postings on the forum indicated that he was trying to get his money back from the auction site so that he could send the camera to it’s rightful owners.  You can read the full message thread here.  It’s a great story about how good people can be.

If I ever lose a camera, I hope that happens to me.  I would pay a reward to one back.  If not the camera, at least the memory card.  You can always get another camera, but you will never get back the memories that were recorded by that camera.   One that you can do is place a file on your memory card that would provide your contact information in case someone comes across your card.

Just create a text file with a file name of something like “If found.txt” and with add something like the following text:

This memory card was from a camera that was lost or stolen.  I will pay a reward and cover the costs of shipping to get this memory card back, with no questions asked.  Please mail the card to this address:

John Smith
123 Main St
Springfield, NY 12345

If you include a return address, I will send a money order to cover the cost of shipping and for your time. If you would prefer alternative arrangements you can email me at

thank you

It’s simple enough to do and it could get you pictures back if you lose camera on vacation.

Getting back the Ctrl-N shortcut with SQL Server 2008’s SSMS

After I installed SQL Server 2008, I noticed that the Ctrl-N keyboard shortcut in the SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) no longer worked.  What it’s supposed to do is to open up a new query tab.  In my install of SSMS 2008, the Ctrl-N key did nothing.  Pressing Ctrl-N was burned into my brain. It was a serious context switch for me to have to select a menu item or press a button to get a new query tab. 

A friend of mine gave me a simple tip that fixed it.  Change the keyboard layout to “SQL Server 2000” and then back to “Standard” and that will restore the default keyboard mappings.  That fixed it and I belatedly found it documented here, here and here.  I don’t know why I didn’t check the series of tubes for the answer, it was pretty obvious how to fix it.

To change the keyboard mappings, select Tools->Options from the SSMS menu and then go to Environment->Keyboard.  From that spot, you can change the keyboard layout.  Change the layout and press the “Ok” button to save the changes.  Then, repeat the steps and select the standard layout and press “Ok” again.  That will set the default keyboard mappings, which will include the Ctrl-N mapping.

And the Chess King is gone

2009 Me: And by 1995, the last Chess King had closed it’s doors for good.

1979 Me: And you thought that was a bad thing?

2009 Me: Well, it was a store that was around back in 1979.  It was once of those places we would have to walk by on the way out of the mall.

1979 Me: I didn’t shop there.  Please, please don’t tell me that I shopped there in the future

2009 Me: No, we never did.  Well, we walked in, and we walked right back out without buying anything.

1979 Me: Thank you.  Or thank me, or us.

2009 Me: But we did go through a phase in the early ‘80s where we wore skinny ties….