Visualizing Chess to Improve Your Game

In the time since I last talked about chess, I have learned a little more, mostly about myself. I think the biggest challenge for me to learn is to teach myself how to visualize. One of the ‘tricks’ of chess masters when they go on the road is to play multiple chess games without looking at the board, either blindfolded or having their backs to the boards.

This makes it obvious to me, pattern recognition by itself can only go so far. Looking at the board and searching for a pattern that worked before is not the same as really seeing. Perhaps this is how famous warriors throughout the ages planned their campaigns.

They could see them play out, and analyses different situations easier and with more clarity. Famous generals and chess masters I believe are far better at visualizing than the rest of us. I stare at the board, and I see chess pieces. I move them around in my mind in a certain pattern looking for what has worked for me in the past.

When that pattern in the void of my head is interrupted or otherwise disturbed, I am like a lost little child not knowing which way to turn. It is in this moment that being able to visualize the game in my head would be so beneficial.

Plodding through a single turn, thinking about the consequences of moving this piece or that pawn, how it effects the next move or two, and not seeing the game as a whole is a bog handicap. Being able to visualize, see the game as an animated movie must be far superior. Possibilities and paths for different moves and lines that are played out on the screen that passes for thought.

How slick would that be! Being able to holistically watch the effects of different moves, watching sequences, spotting the flaws. Reforming the chess army, playing out athe whole campaign. Having strong visualization skills, especially in chess has to be a major game changer.

Visualization, and the willingness to really think instead of play remembered patterns work sometime, but fail me at other times. When I talk with players that are stronger than me, they too have their glass ceilings. Mostly they talk about not having enough time to give to the game. How their life gets in the way.

Maybe they too are too concrete too in their thinking, and have not imagined the next plateau. Being able to visualize enough to make a difference. How much our game could improve using the ability to play out a chess puzzle in our head away from the game,  waiting for something, or just relaxing for a few minutes.

This is a skill I think is important to improving at chess, and perhaps other areas of life as well. It is a skill I think I want to cultivate. I too lack the time and inclination to learn fifty different openings and their counter play. I can’t give hours a day to chess puzzles, and other forms of chess learning in order to improve.

What I think I can do is learn to better use those resources I do have, mainly those resources between my ears. Maybe I learn to play a little better and have more fun in the process.

suicide is NOT…

You left a letter to your family. You told them how much you loved them, how important they were to you, and how much they meant to you. Then you killed yourself. It makes the letter to your family a lie.

It got too tough, so you took an out, the final out. Now anyone who was to learn from you have been cheated out of the experience. Cheated your own family and friends their learning in your time of not being able to wipe your own ass, your chin, and your nose. What can they learn from you now? How can they grow?

You were close to the end already. You had options. You could have refused medication. You could have let your natural death take its course. You could have lived and died with dignity and respect. You could have left the world with integrity. People could say, “This is how it is done. This is what is expected of the rest of us when our time comes”.

Decades of living a less than happy life ending in a state of less than. Less than a full life lived. Less than putting your family and friends before your selfish self. Cheating them of the opportunity of being there for your end. Cheating them out of telling you they love you one last time, and how they now treasure each day they had with you. Knowing you are leaving because your body is breaking down, and your life has finished its course.

After a lifetime of struggle, and pain, not having enough left to give it a little more time. Really? You were on the downhill side of life for goodness sake. You could have stuck it out a few more years.

You could have held up your life. Meeting your death, giving a lesson on how life should be lived. Letting others know your weaknesses and your inner strength by living to your natural end.

Your choosing the easy way out disturbs me. You were leaving ahead of me, and I counted on you to show me the way. Showing me how it is to be done. Showing me there is dignity in living life to its natural end. You took these life lessons away from all of us.

I want to yell at you. I want to tell you what a fool you are. I want to dislike you for what you have done. I want to hold you in disdain. I want to berate you. I want you to understand what you did. I want to slap you across the face.

I know I cannot and would not do those things to you. I can only feel sorry for you. I can only wish you had found the courage to ride your life to its natural end. I can only hope when my end nears, I have the dignity, selflessness, and courage to do what you could not.

I hope when life gets tough and my body breaks down, I will choose to stay to the end. I hope I will allow people to learn and grow as they are forced to take care of me, abuse me, or neglect me. I hope as they change my diaper, clean my face, shave me, bathe me, they learn something from me. I owe the world this much at least.

In my final days I have something someone needs to learn. I can teach even if I am not there, and only a breathing shell remains. I hope I have the courage to hang around long enough so those around me can learn only what my natural death can teach.

I wish you had not…

Lose Weight Easily With Role Play

One of the funny things about us is our brains do not differentiate between what is real and what happens in our mind. It is all the same thing to our brain. This means it is all the same thing to us too at some level. We fuse memories, mix dreams and waking time, invent memories that never really happened.

Yawn, so what. What makes this special is because our brain functions this way, we can trick ourselves into acting and being different than we are now. We can then accomplish some pretty amazing things with a little planning and patience.

What to do is trick your brain and your body into doing something different. When something in your life is not working, it is better to change than fight what doesn’t work. We can do this because of our ego which is for most of us, our window to the world. We are not ruling our life because we do not know any better. Our ego runs our life instead.

I have written a few posts on my other blog about ego, but I want to write about it here too because it is so important. No one ever taught us that we have to tend to our ego other than following some basic mores. Ego is a tyrant, and without watching it, Ego does what ego wants which is not always good for us.

Ego does what is easiest and what works over half the time. Ego does not care that in the long run we are hurting ourself, or or limiting our life in some way(s). Ego only cares that the easiest approach is best for it.

With direction from us, our ego will make any changes we insist on making. Changes in our personality or lifestyle suited to almost any situation or life style. Think of ego as a large rotating piece of glass with hundreds of polished lenses which turn in a circle. Without our watching Ego has decided which lenses we use in our life.

Any time we want to act or be different, ego rotates lenses until ego finds the correct lens. This is done without our being aware of it most of the time. If it is easy, we keep this using this lens.

This ego lens idea is what we may use to accomplish amazing things in our life as long as we remain aware of the goal(s) we have set for yourself. We can change how we see the world, and keep using our new lens until it becomes a well used lens.

The difficulty is allowing yourself to shift lenses to the lens you want to experience your life changes through. If it is not easy, or we find it uncomfortable at first, we are willing to stop using this new lens.

Losing weight is an example many can relate to. Most people are not successful losing weight because they are living their life with an ego lens made for being overweight. How can anyone expect to lose weight when they are living their life as someone living life as an overweight person?

It is hard to shift your ego lens off of living life overweight. We have been living through this lens for a long time, and we are comfortable with it. There are no surprises, and we know how each day is going to be.

As long as you are not focused on what you want, life is boringly the same each day.
The key is taking an active role in using a new lens to view your life through. Decide you want to live your life as someone who is not overweight. Now, you need to constantly remember for a time you are now living your life as someone who is not overweight.

Now when it comes to food you will need to go through a process. Ask yourself is this food or is this meal something you want to eat as a person who is not overweight? Or is it something you want to eat for another reason?

If you find you want food for other reasons than nourishment, you have to stop and think why you are doing this. What has happened that you see food in this manner? There may be many reasons, and you will have to find them and eliminate them as they happen.

At first this will feel uncomfortable, after all this is something new for you. Here you are living as a person who is not overweight when you know you are overweight. Up  ’till now, every time you want to ate and did not need to eat, you felt like you should just go ahead and eat.

Stop and determine why you feel this way. Is it something which was told to you? It may be something that happened to you? It may be something you came to believe? It may be your way of hiding?

If you find why you think this way, stop and discover why you want to eat when you do not need to. Once you know why, you have a decision to make. Do you want to hold on to these feelings, or do you want to banish them from your life as they add no value to you?

If you really want to lose weight, banish them from your thinking and beliefs. If you want to keep them (for whatever reason), quit trying to lose weight.

As you change your thinking you will notice a difference in yourself. A wonderful change will start taking place, and remain aware of the foods you are eating are foods for the right reasons.

You will see the pounds start dropping off as if by magic. You won’t be too hungry, you will eat healthier foods, and you will be okay with the changes to your diet and lifestyle.

If what you have read does not make sense to you, read it again. It may be something you never thought of, or considered until reading this, and it may take a bit of time to come to terms with it.

Changing your thinking in this manner is what most successful people have done in their own lives, as they initially struggled to find their success. If they can do it, so can you. You are not selling yourself out, cheating, being fake, or any other negative thought that comes into you mind.

What you are doing is choosing a different way of seeing and being in your world. You choose to no longer see the world through an overweight person lens which is not working for you. Changing your lens to a view that is aligned with what you have chosen from this moment on your life will start to change.

OK, for some people who have certain mindsets (in the past, I resembled this remark), this may feel like fraud. It is not fraud, and it is not, “…fake it till you make it”. What you are doing is making a choice to live your life differently than you have been because it is not working for you.

What you are doing is role playing. Becoming an actor for a short time who stays in character to better portray the new you. Some actors stay in character to better understand and support the character they play. You are doing the same thing. Staying in character to learn more about how the skinny you eats and lives.

As you better understand this concept, you will find you can use it for any and all changes you want to make in your life. Some changes will be simple, and some changes may be more difficult and take more attention to accomplish. Remember you are in charge of you, and you choose what lens you wish to live your life through.

It Is About You Now, not what someone thought of you once

I am going to intrude upon your life, and you probably will not like it. It may make you angry in fact. Let me apologize in advance for being critically of your life. Perhaps I should tell why I know what I know about you and your life. I know these things because what I am about to write are reflections of my life.

When I see you walking by you try to be small, maybe invisible. You look afraid of me. You prefer I did not acknowledge you or talk to you, but really you want to be noticed and talked to. Family, friends and strangers have hurt you in your past by words or deed. You do not want to be hurt again, it is easier to go unnoticed.

You would rather not talk to people outside of your inner circle. Those people who do not say or do things that hurt. You would like to be more popular, but it is scary. You would like to be more athletic, but you were born clumsy. You would like to be witty, but you aren’t.

You feel lonely and cut off sometime. You would like to have close friends. You would like to have a good marriage, a good life, and feel like life is work. You would like to change your appearance a bit, or your personality. I notice this about you because these are mannerisms you display as you walk by. I want jump when you get close and shout, BOO!!, but it would scare you, and you wouldn’t think it is funny.

When I talk with you, you tell me stories of your life. Most of these stories are of the negative sort. You want to lose weight, but you do not seem able to lose weight. You would like another job, though another job has not happened yet. You want a happier life, but haven’t found it yet.

As I listen to your litany of things you cannot do, I wonder what it is you can do. You keep on painting a pictures of let down, and almost. You have so much going on in your life, which you never mention.

Almost without exception, everyone you talk to, walk by shares these same thoughts. Like attracts like, and we all wear what we see as our faults on the outside for the world to see. We are walking billboards and advertisements of what is wrong with us.

It is time to give yourself permission to let these beliefs and feelings go. These feelings and beliefs are not you, they were placed on you by others.

Remember back when you were little? You did not know you had faults. You didn’t know what a fault was. You didn’t know you were shy, overweight, ugly, clumsy, loud, plain. or any of the other labels you have come to think you are. All you knew was you were awake, and this is a fun place to be.

Take ten minutes of your day tomorrow and play a game with yourself. No one will know you are playing a game except you. Take ten minutes after waking, before you leave and do this one thing. For a ten minutes tell yourself that you are all the things which you think you are not.

Fill ten minutes after waking with positives, whether you believe what you are telling yourself or not does not matter.  Say affirmations such as: “I am a great person, I am happy, I am special, I am perfect. I am smart, I am talented, I am funny, I am perfect. I can do anything, Everyone likes me.”

Feel free to add those things which I did not mention that you really keep secret. Give yourself permission to let them go. This can be somewhat awkward when starting out, so if you do not make twenty minutes, go as long as you can.

As you go through your day, remind yourself what you told yourself. Pay attention to how people respond to you. People will try to catch your eye. They smile when they see you. Strangers greet you. Maybe even find a reason to touch you.

Maybe what will happen around you will be a little less dramatic. However one thing is for sure, people will react differently towards you because you are showing people a different side of yourself.

Whether these things you told yourself are true or not, whether you believe them or not, it doesn’t matter. Your brain and other people’s brain for the most part does not know the difference. People who cross your path will want to know you, be like you. Your life will change for the better almost immediately.

If you do this one little thing every day, life will not be perfect in ten minutes, a day, or a week. The bluebird of happiness will still occasionally rain on your parade. Your life will change slowly, a little each day. Over a few weeks, those old negative ideas of you will be replaced by new truths of you. Your life will become a fun place to be.

No one you see or know if perfect. If they were actresses and actors would not spend tens of thousands to fix some little part of themselves only they see as a fault within them. Everybody has faults. There is a dating saying, “No matter how perfect they look and act, someone became tired of them.” What that means, is no matter how someone looks or acts, they have their share of faults, just like you and me.

We will never shed our faults and become perfect. No one else will either. If you can find twenty faults in you, there are at least that many faults in other people. Let go of your faults, and focus on the hundreds of great parts of you.

Release the weight of over focusing on your perceived faults, everyone has faults. Let the pounds of extra baggage go, you need your hands to do more important things. This is your life, not another persons idea of you. Let go of those petty, mean nothing faults and focus on the real you, the fun you, the best of you.

Except Your Life Can Be Better

When I was a small child I thought I would do something big. I would change the world all by myself. Give the world a gift that would make the world a better place. I was going to do big things.

I decided instead, actually it was decided for me, the world was not ready for what I was going to do. I decided that I would not do that thing I was going to do to improve the world.

That decision left me with nothing to do. I had no real goals. I had no urge to accomplish a certain thing. I had no interest in making world size changes. This was confirmed by my two doctors, speaking to my parents while I was in the room with them. ‘He will be OK at many things, but he will not be really good at any one thing.’ It was decreed in that moment, or so I believed, that I should be a jack of all trades and a master of none.

I went through some years trying to do just OK at everything. Never trying to excel at any of them. What was the point. I already turned my back on what I could have done. Those mighty men in their white coats decreed my future. My parents believed it, so who was I to think differently.

As a child, I noticed some people lived their lives emotionally stunted. They matured to a certain point and then stopped growing. People were very good at this, but not that. Some people knew how to manipulate others, but did not have it in them to use that manipulation to help others.

Other people were strong spiritually. They could have moved mountains if they weren’t scared to try. I think they never had the thought to try. They could move mountains if they wanted to, but something was in the way.

That something is the word ‘except’. I would be a rocket scientist, except I’m not smart enough. I would play in the NBA, except I joined a gang instead. I would go to college,  except I am thinking about dropping out of high school.

Except is a powerful word. We all could create the life we want, and surpass all our dreams, except. Except something got in the way. Except, we went this way, instead of sticking it out. Except, the other was was easier.

When I thought I was old enough to make a difference, I had forgotten what I was capable of. I forgot that I had the ability to change the world. I might have remembered, except for whatever reason I chose not to listen to myself tell me I could have a different life. Except for those rare moments when I remembered what I thought I would do, and think, “Yeh, I could do that, but this is easier. Everyone expects this of me.”

We have the power in us to change our world. Except we keep forgetting we can change the world. Except it is easier to treat every day as the day before. Except we now accept that ho hum and boredom is good enough, except when we remember we do not have to live this way.

We have something in common with cats. You can not make a cat go anywhere when standing behind it. At least not without the cat wanting move. The old saying is, “Like herding cats.” Neither can you push a limp spaghetti noodle.

It’s sort of funny on some level. I have known this all my life, but I thought if I said the right thing, wrote the write words, I could, through sheer willpower change the world into a better place. Except, like a stubborn two year old, I refused to see that there were few exceptions to how the world worked, and herding cats or pushing limp noodles takes a lot of energy.

Except for when I forget, I am giving up on changing the world by pushing. I am one person, and I can not by my words or sentences change you or anything. Except I am sure I will forget this thought, and say more, and write more.

Instead, I will continue to grow myself. I am as long as I am alive, I am a work in progress. I try this, and I do that. As I fail often, success seems to be more frequent. I like to think I am figuring it all out, except I spend time trying the same things over and expect different results.

It is okay to be different. Except when I forget. Except when I forget I am not here to change the world by myself.

I now accept new ideas as possible and correct, except when I forget. Once I remember, I give a new idea a try, except it doesn’t always work for me the way it did for another. Stuff happens, or not.

Everything we know about the world we live in is probably only partially true. Maybe we get two thoughts right, and one thought wrong. Maybe we play games with ourselves so we can pretend this is how is is, except when we choose not to pretend.

From here on out, except when I forget, I will lead by example. I will no longer try to herd cats, and push limp spaghetti noodles. I will continue to make my life what is best for me.

Except I hope you to come to feel this way too, and join me. Except I hope you decide to add excitement into your life. Except I hope you fail once or twice before making your life the best life possible.
When I was a small child I thought I would do something big. I would change the world all by myself. Give the world a gift that would make the world a better place. I was going to do big things.

I decided instead, actually it was decided for me, the world was not ready for what I was going to do. I decided that I would not do that thing I was going to do to improve the world.

That decision left me with nothing to do. I had no real goals. I had no urge to accomplish a certain thing. I had no interest in making world size changes. This was confirmed by my two doctors, speaking to my parents while I was in the room with them. ‘He will be OK at many things, but he will not be really good at any one thing.’ It was decreed in that moment, or so I believed, that I should be a jack of all trades and a master of none.

I went through some years trying to do just OK at everything. Never trying to excel at any of them. What was the point. I already turned my back on what I could have done. Those mighty men in their white coats decreed my future. My parents believed it, so who was I to think differently.

As a child, I noticed some people lived their lives emotionally stunted. They matured to a certain point and then stopped growing. People were very good at this, but not that. Some people knew how to manipulate others, but did not have it in them to use that manipulation to help others.

Other people were strong spiritually. They could have moved mountains if they weren’t scared to try. I think they never had the thought to try. They could move mountains if they wanted to, but something was in the way.

That something is the word ‘except’. I would be a rocket scientist, except I’m not smart enough. I would play in the NBA, except I joined a gang instead. I would go to college,  except I am thinking about dropping out of high school.

Except is a powerful word. We all could create the life we want, and surpass all our dreams, except. Except something got in the way. Except, we went this way, instead of sticking it out. Except, the other was was easier.

When I thought I was old enough to make a difference, I had forgotten what I was capable of. I forgot that I had the ability to change the world. I might have remembered, except for whatever reason I chose not to listen to myself tell me I could have a different life. Except for those rare moments when I remembered what I thought I would do, and think, “Yeh, I could do that, but this is easier. Everyone expects this of me.”

We have the power in us to change our world. Except we keep forgetting we can change the world. Except it is easier to treat every day as the day before. Except we now accept that ho hum and boredom is good enough, except when we remember we do not have to live this way.

We have something in common with cats. You can not make a cat go anywhere when standing behind it. At least not without the cat wanting move. The old saying is, “Like herding cats.” Neither can you push a limp spaghetti noodle.

It’s sort of funny on some level. I have known this all my life, but I thought if I said the right thing, wrote the write words, I could, through sheer willpower change the world into a better place. Except, like a stubborn two year old, I refused to see that there were few exceptions to how the world worked, and herding cats or pushing limp noodles takes a lot of energy.

Except for when I forget, I am giving up on changing the world by pushing. I am one person, and I can not by my words or sentences change you or anything. Except I am sure I will forget this thought, and say more, and write more.

Instead, I will continue to grow myself. I am as long as I am alive, I am a work in progress. I try this, and I do that. As I fail often, success seems to be more frequent. I like to think I am figuring it all out, except I spend time trying the same things over and expect different results.

It is okay to be different. Except when I forget. Except when I forget I am not here to change the world by myself.

I now accept new ideas as possible and correct, except when I forget. Once I remember, I give a new idea a try, except it doesn’t always work for me the way it did for another. Stuff happens, or not.

Everything we know about the world we live in is probably only partially true. Maybe we get two thoughts right, and one thought wrong. Maybe we play games with ourselves so we can pretend this is how is is, except when we choose not to pretend.

From here on out, except when I forget, I will lead by example. I will no longer try to herd cats, and push limp spaghetti noodles. I will continue to make my life what is best for me.

Except I hope you to come to feel this way too, and join me. Except I hope you decide to add excitement into your life. Except I hope you fail once or twice before making your life the best life possible.

Enjoy Life More, Weigh Less, Get Happy

I was reminded of something I used to know, which I had forgotten. What I was reminded of is, “Put the Bags Down”. Many of us without realizing it do what is called stamp collecting. The stamps we collect are little slights, inconveniences, small problems we can not immediately solve such as frustrations, boredom, and other nitty irritants that get in the way of our otherwise perfect moment of our perfect day.

We wear over our clothes an old shirt. On that old shirt without being aware of it, we put little sticky notes of whatever little incidents occur in our day to remind ourselves, lest we forget, of how things are not going our way at the moment.

My biggest series of stamps are about back ache. My back went into spasms a few years ago. (I would not recommend back spasms as a good way to spend a month or six.) From time to time, my back feels worn out, on the verge of aching. I have without realizing been saving these sore back stamps over the last few years. Pulling them out when I felt the need to feel sorry for myself.

Last week, I was watching a short video about putting the bags down. ‘Bags’ being life’s little problems. I was guilty of wearing that old shirt with my collection of sticky notes of back aches interfering with my day. Also as my focus was being distorted, I would occasionally add another sticky note about something I found irritating in the moment as my back hurt.

Halfway through the video, I  decided to take off my old sticky note covered shirt, and place it in a bag and put it out in the trash bin. Holding on to past problems does not allow one live in the present moment. Old problems hinder and hamper the good of the moment as are when live in the present.

We have lived our past, and we are able to some extent shape our future. It is living in the moment which is most important. The present moment is where good and not so good things happen. By not living in the moment, and wearing our old shirt with the sticky notes on it, we miss the good things that are going on in our life, and instead look for reasons to add another note to our shirt.

Spend your time in the present moment, enjoying all the goodness that is present and around us. Bad things will happen of course. Bad things balance our life and help us see all the goodness we enjoy each day. Keeping track of problems and focusing on them makes us lose sight of the present and the good things that are happening in the moment.

So what things should be thrown away? The list is long, but it can be done throwing away a few items at a time. Hate, anger, jealousy, envy, are a few of the things you should not carry around with you.

Thoughts about your looks or personality can capture a lot of sticky notes. Who cares if you are fat, skinny, have a big nose, a poor smile, big hands, or small feet. These things make difference to how you experience happiness in your life. Is your birthday any less special because you are different? Does a sunny day, or good meal with friends or family taste any different?

Be happy in who you are and let go of the baggage you are carrying around about yourself. A swimming pool, lake or ocean does not care if you entered the water in a sweat suit or a string bikini. Just give it all up and start living your life for the good things in it. Anything in your life that is keeping you out of the moment is something you should put in the bag.

Sometimes these emotions find there way back. They sort of sneak back into your life when you are not paying attention. If this happens to you, just bag ‘em up again, and throw them away. After a few times they won’t be able to sneak back into your life.

Join me and remove that old shirt covered with sticky notes and old stamps which are records of your lives problems and frustrations. Place that old shirt in the trash. What is done is done.

Saving sour and sad reminders of our past to replay over and over, takes us to a place where we spend our time validating past issues and more importantly allowing them to manifest again in the present moment. Life is lived in the moment. Life is not much fun, when it passes you by because you are wallowing in the past.

 

Money For Nothing and Chicks For Free

Money for nothing and chicks for free – MTV Song, Dire Straits, 1985. I think this is fitting for the beginning this post. Maybe the ending too.

Cruising the Internet last week, I ended up looking at search hits about subliminal advertising, or subliminal messaging. The things you do when you are bored! There was so much nonsense and half truths. Maybe I am immune to them, and they do not effect me?

I started almost skimming the articles from links I clicked on. One link after another, with some amount of blah, blah and nothing to catch my focus. I had been skimming for too long, and it showed up in the last article I had time to read.

From previous articles, I learned that people respond better when they have responded before in a positive manner. For example, a homeless person walks up to you and asks you for the time. It seems outwardly an innocent request, but it is anything but.

The homeless person is changing your relationship with each other. By asking you the time, they become someone you are having a dialog with. They are asking you to do something for them, “Do you know what time it is?”, or something along those lines. Now you have an exchange of dialog, and you have a loose attachment.

Now the homeless person, being successful with the first request, goes on to their real point of the relationship encounter. They now either ask you something else that doesn’t matter, or they ask you for something, usually money.

Of course now that the homeless person is part of your circle of friends you are more likely to give them money, food, or otherwise fulfill the request. If you walk in the city, you have been well trained to respond to this situation.

This explains why children usually reserve what they really want when in a store for their third or fourth request. They know from previous times, their third or fourth request is more likely to be granted than their first few requests for some toy.

Then I found the article that surprised me. The article was about how our brains filter out information as we watch, listen, or read. Same as when we already know the story before the person talking finishes talking. We know what is going to be said, and simply fade the sound to white noise. I was already to this point, skimming and half reading, looking for the jewel in the ground, so to speak.

…you are in a conversation for someone, a person of the opposite sex, with whom you may want to pursue a romantic relationship with. I was skimming along having mostly ignored a few previous paragraphs as they did not seem important. There were some questions, where I totally missed the whole question. Even after prompting to read it again I misread the question, and had to compare the quoted question to the original.

You ask three or four simple questions that are always likely to be acted upon. Remember the Homeless Person? You ask other questions that are always likely to be answered with ‘yes’.

Do you think diet is important to a happy life? Me too, good food makes for a healthy body. Do you think exercise is important to a happy life? I do too. In fact I try and walk every day. Do you think sleep is important to a happy life? I know I feel better when I get enough sleep..

So you agree with me then that diet, exercise, and sleeping with me are important to living a happy life? If so, what are some of your favorite healthy foods? What do you do for exercise? How many hours a day do you sleep?

Listening to advertisement of products that are trying to break into their niche market operate in a different way. They use little three or four word phrases like, Feel better fast, Power you body, buy now, send money, easy payment, improve your mind.

I was so amused by this idea of being manipulated, I had this conversation with six people, three women and three men. One woman asked me to repeat what I said three times. The men for some reason listened better than the women.

Until last week, I thought I was aware of all these ad bombs, yet I thought I was immune. In general conversation, I now see how often they are being used, and perhaps we are not immune. We are always being training to respond to requests, whether in advertising, or person to person, or general commentary.

Erasing Risky

The second and last Cat, Risky died last week, heading towards his nineteenth birthday, which is quite long for a cat. I suppose this post is about erasing a long time pet and family member from your life. Risky was an odd cat, so maybe my erasing him seems a little odd in itself.

I knew when I came home Wednesday eveningt and found blood pools around the living room and hallway, Risky was running his last race. He had been throwing up for about five months, but nothing like this. Not this amount of blood. There was so much blood I thought it had to be half of what was in his body. It looked as if a knife fight had taken place in the living room.

I found him on the bed, his normal spot for that time of day. Laying there he looked normal, eyes clear, and indifferent in that cat sort of way. When he atood, I knew it was as serious as I was afraid it would be. Instead of standing, Risky shivered, tilted, and wobbled as he tried to stand up. By late Thursday evening he seemed to have quit drinking, and by Saturday morning I was on my way to the vet to make arrangements for him.

Risky didn’t come back home with me after his first car trip in almost fifteen years. The erasing process has started. One empty pet carrier and no Risky inside. I emptied Risky’s cat box as there was no need for it now. I put it in a plastic bag with the scoop, and put it in the garage. I swept up what clay litter pieces there were to sweep. I gave the floor a quick wipe.

I picked up Risky’s cat beds, three of them, where he slept in the daytime depending on the time of year, all three beds by windows. On my hands and knees, I scrubbed at the blood stains in the carpet for the second time. It made little difference, the blood stains are semi-permanent I think. I washed his food and water bowls. I could not put them away yet.

Sunday I worked. When I came home, I started collecting whatever cat toys were in sight. There were a couple dozen toys, hidden under the couch, in the corners, under things. He was given a lot of toys over his almost nine-teen years. I collected leftover cans of soft food and the partial bag of dry food. I bagged them to give them away on Monday to someone with a cat.

Tuesday, I collected the last of Risky’s toys as I vacuumed the carpet to clean it again, for the second and where the spots were, the third time.

Wednesday, I steam cleaned the carpet, picked up a few more toys that hidden away. I vacuumed the curtains to remove his hair from them. I need to do this a second time, just not right now. I washed and dried the throw Risky slept on when he was on the bed, and the blanket that was below it.

I cleaned out the freezer of a half dozen small baggies of hamburger meat, and “on special” trout fillets Risky doesn’t need any more. I threw out his cardboard scratchers. Every day I wonder, where he is, or what is he doing when I hear a noise, followed an instant later by remembering – Risky is dead.

As this happens I think about my two trips to the vet on Saturday. Standing outside the closed door each time, once by myself, and once with Risky in his pet carrier. How painful I found it to take two final steps, open the door, and take two more steps to the desk. It was even harder to talk.

I don’t know how long it will be before Risky is erased from the house. Every room, most of the furniture, and so many small noises, and lack of small noises have his memory in them.

I think this is a good thing. It reminds me I am alive, and I have feelings. It also reminds me I am mortal, someday it will be me, and this is how life works.

It has been two weeks now and company has arrived. It was a simple thing to tell them Risky died. I skipped the details. As the outside door opens and closes over the last few days, I keep thinking, Risky is going to get out. Then almost as quickly, I remember.

Bullett Proof Linux For Beginners

I read this in a couple of places today. Someone had a real flash of insight when they thought of it. Whoever it was, let me know so I can credit it to you. I read this several times, and the source was not identifiable.

If you want a bullet proof Linux installation of your very own, how do you do it? How can you have an installation of your favorite Linux distribution that never breaks because of something you tried to do? A rock solid Linux that always performs as well the day it performed when you first installed it?

I wish this was around when I started using Linux. I would be a Linux pro by now, or at least a pretty advanced user. Enough delay and buildup to a great idea.

When you first install your Linux Distribution of choice, and it is updated, and everything is working perfectly, add a virtual box to your system.

Once you have  a virtual box installed, install your Linux Distribution on Virtual Box. You do not have to update it if you do not want to, and I am sure your distribution would prefer you did not.

If you really need to update your virtual machine do a little bit more. It would be fair, since you are doubling the work of the distributions server, to donate some money to your distribution of choice.

After all, you would be on your way to becoming a Linux Pro, if it were not for them. Contact the site admin, or one of the forum moderators on how to donate. Most Linux Distributions are ran on a shoe string, and they would really appreciate your financial support.

Now when you want to make any changes to your system, make those changes in your virtual machine first. This way, if you make a mistake, you can undo it, or copy back your pristine virtual machine backup, and start over, knowing your working system is safe and secure.

This is an almost perfect setting for a learning environment too. You can tinker, modify, and change settings to see what effects what. If they are not good changes, you haven’t hurt your working Linux System. If they work as you hoped, and wow you, you can make the changes on your working Linux system.

You can even go further. On the forums of your Linux distribution of choice, there are always one or more post install problem sections, where forum members write about their Linux problem in the hope someone knows the fix and responds.

If you like to tinker, and want to learn more about Linux, you can do what they did, breaking your virtual machine. Then you can see if you can fix the problem in your virtual machine.

When you can learn to fix simple problems, you can post the fix, helping out another Linux user who is not as advanced as you are. Then you can start tackling harder problems and help me out :-).

Not only, will this help you learn Linux, but it will help you better understand how Linux works because you can get in their and play with the nuts and bolts of your system.

You may not want to update your virtual machine, as it is likely to break, and you don’t want to put undo download stress on the distribution server; sending files costs money.

You should learn how to copy your virtual machine file to a safe location. Make sure you shut it down first before copying your virtual machine file to another location.

This way when your virtual machine breaks, you have a good working copy of your virtual machine. Copy your virtual machine back from its stored location to your virtual machine folder.
I read this in a couple of places today. Someone had a real flash of insight when they thought of it. Whoever it was, let me know so I can credit it to you. I read this several times, and the source was not identifiable.

If you want a bullet proof Linux installation of your very own, how do you do it? How can you have an installation of your favorite Linux distribution that never breaks because of something you tried to do? A rock solid Linux that always performs as well the day it performed when you first installed it?

I wish this was around when I started using Linux. I would be a Linux pro by now, or at least a pretty advanced user. Enough delay and buildup to a great idea.

When you first install your Linux Distribution of choice, and it is updated, and everything is working perfectly, add a virtual box to your system.

Once you have  a virtual box installed, install your Linux Distribution on Virtual Box. You do not have to update it if you do not want to, and I am sure your distribution would prefer you did not.

If you really need to update your virtual machine do a little bit more. It would be fair, since you are doubling the work of the distributions server, to donate some money to your distribution of choice.

After all, you would be on your way to becoming a Linux Pro, if it were not for them. Contact the site admin, or one of the forum moderators on how to donate. Most Linux Distributions are ran on a shoe string, and they would really appreciate your financial support.

Now when you want to make any changes to your system, make those changes in your virtual machine first. This way, if you make a mistake, you can undo it, or copy back your pristine virtual machine backup, and start over, knowing your working system is safe and secure.

This is an almost perfect setting for a learning environment too. You can tinker, modify, and change settings to see what effects what. If they are not good changes, you haven’t hurt your working Linux System. If they work as you hoped, and wow you, you can make the changes on your working Linux system.

You can even go further. On the forums of your Linux distribution of choice, there are always one or more post install problem sections, where forum members write about their Linux problem in the hope someone knows the fix and responds.

If you like to tinker, and want to learn more about Linux, you can do what they did, breaking your virtual machine. Then you can see if you can fix the problem in your virtual machine.

When you can learn to fix simple problems, you can post the fix, helping out another Linux user who is not as advanced as you are. Then you can start tackling harder problems and help me out :-).

Not only, will this help you learn Linux, but it will help you better understand how Linux works because you can get in their and play with the nuts and bolts of your system.

You may not want to update your virtual machine, as it is likely to break, and you don’t want to put undo download stress on the distribution server; sending files costs money.

You should learn how to copy your virtual machine file to a safe location. Make sure you shut it down first before copying your virtual machine file to another location.

This way when your virtual machine breaks, you have a good working copy of your virtual machine. Copy your virtual machine back from its stored location to your virtual machine folder.

Linux Distro Hopping, a few Distro Comments

Since I have been checking out a number of new distros, I thought I would post a quick line or two on them. One of the important things for me, is a distro be able to see youtube and Ted videos out of the box, or easily make them play. I also use usenet, so a usenet reader is also on my list.

One finding, or food for thought: Using LVM means you have to backup anything you want from your home directory before installing another distro. If there is a workaround, I did not find it.

I think the simplest hard drive scheme is a 10 – 15  gig root (if you have the space), a swap file that matches your memory or at least four gigs for movies, and whatever space you have left as home – unless you multiboot.

Crunchbang #! (Debian) – see my previous post, is awesome once you understand it, and can get past “Windows way” thinking.

Kubuntu & Xubuntu (Ubuntu 14.04) – This is a very stable, easy to use distro, using the KDE desktop of course. I find myself doing too much clicking when going through the menu for a program, depending on where it is. Uses about 550 mb of ram.

* This applies to all ‘buntu from what I read…If you multiboot, grub occasionally misses all your distros. Also only Kubuntu, though it was installed on sdb, put grub on sda without asking.

Linux Mint (Ubuntu 14.04) – Awesome. A very well thought out distribution. Most of the programs are programs you want to use. The different desktops are for the cpu speed, amount of ram, and hard drive space, although, even if your system is new, you may notice a speed difference between the desktops.

LXLE (Ubuntu 14.04) – Not sure what to think about this one. Comprehensive is a good word for LXLE. It is fast, and very large at the same time. There are enough programs you may never need to add anything. Though I did not notice any that would not get used over time.

Debian 7.5 – Sparse and fast. Installs with the LXDE desktop, which is one of the fastest desktops around. One of the most stable and secure distributions around. Not pretty, you will need to add software, and you may want to tweak the settings. You do have the option of loading any other desktop, and window manager such as XFCE, KDE, or Gnome. I think if you give LXDE a chance, you will like it.

Plays youtube videos from basic install, at least the few I tried. Copy and paste the link below to load flash player so you can watch TED and maybe some other videos.

https://wiki.debian.org/FlashPlayer

A downside of Debian is Debian and Debian users are not overly friendly at times. They are usually experienced users, and have little patience for asked a 1000 times questions.

Kannotix (Debian) – This is a good solid distro. It’s been around a long time. Not a lot of flash, just solid.

SolydXK (Debian) – Close to Kubuntu and Xubuntu. SolydK did not like my Intel video chip set, and gave me a few problems. Solid though, and upgraded just fine. SolydX is awesome, but the upgrade left search the engines option out of Firefox.

Net Runner – Very fast! I liked this distro right away, until I looked for a binary news reader – like Pan. I could not find one. Other than that, it may need to be tweaked for appearance, but it is very fast.

Manjaro – Fast, but too green for me. I became annoyed by the color scheme too quickly. I am not a KDE expert, and playing around with the settings left me wanting someone who knows what they are doing to change the color scheme. Also had a few small problems. This distro may be troublesome for new Linux users. Updates pretty quickly too.