Fire Home Care Worker Because You Are Jealous?

An interesting discussion tonight where I seemed to be on the minority side. I thought it was a thought provoking subject, and really cuts to the quick of how much we each would be willing to do for our dying spouse.

Here is the capsule version of the discussion that occurred. The couple are both over sixty-five years old. The husband has several serious health issues including cancer, and will probably die of cancer within a few years.

The husband is bed ridden. The wife is unable to take care of his basic needs as she is physically smaller than the husband. The wife is hires a home care worker. However, home care workers one and two do not work out. One is possibly stealing and may be a thief. The second is personality poison for the wife and the sick man. They are unhappy having her in their home as she is so negative about everything. Both home care workers have been let go.

Home care worker number three is hired. She is about thirty years old, attractive, but not overly so, well endowed on top, and typically wears low top clothing. The husband if he wishes can gaze down her top at least once daily as she goes about her home care duties of tending to him. These duties include bathing the husband.

The wife becomes uncomfortable with the way health care worker three acts around the sick husband. She leans over too much in the wife’s opinion, showing both her well endowed breasts and her (shapely per the wife) bottom. The sick husband claims ignorance.

As a matter of what appears to be coincidence, with home care worker number three on the scene, the husband is either having a remission or is recovering from some of his afflictions. His tests are improved, and his cancer appears to be in remission.

The husband is no longer confined to the bed, and can walk, albeit slowly following the walls. The wife decides the home care worker and her husbands relationship is a little too intimate, and she tells home care worker number three her services are no longer required. The wife admits she is jealous of the relationship, and is worried the thirty something year old home care worker is after her husband.

This was the setting of the discussion.

I felt the wife needs help of a therapist. If it were my spouse who was that sick and a male home care worker was a person who liked to touch (appropriately), shows off his muscles, makes a fuss over my wife, and does a good job of taking care of her, it is all fine with me.

If I were in this situation, and the attention apparently made my wife feel better, I am all for it. I can not imagine in my wildest dreams a healthy thirty year old having any romantic interest in an old woman. I certainly can not imagine my wife being taken in by the attentions of a male health care worker half her age.

I might even chip in an extra tip now and then to show my appreciation. I would want my wife to spend her last months as happy as possible, and if a little harmless flirting was involved, I would be okay with it.

I was a minority opinion.The opinion was divided four ways. With my apparently overly  liberal views, to standing up for the wife firing the overly friendly health care worker.

Do you care to share your thoughts or experiences? What would you do?

Ebola: You, Me, and the CDC part 2

Americans are over reacting to Ebola according to a report on CBS evening news October 18.

“Public health professor Andrew Noymer studies infectious diseases at University of California, Irvine. He says people do not need to be afraid of Ebola in the U.S.

“I would say the panic is harder to contain than the spread of the disease itself,” he said. “People are focusing on that it’s a scary disease from far away, and they see scary images of people caring for sick people with protective gear, and it looks frightening.””

Professor Noymer went on to say he would not be scared to get on a plane knowing someone on the plane had Ebola. I say good for Professor Noymer.

Ebola is something to be scared of if you are a normally adjusted person, with a normal sense of responsibility to those around you. Just because someone says the sky is falling does not mean it is. Just because Ebola is allegedly difficult to contract does not mean you are immune to Ebola.

What is terrifying about Ebola, is if someone contracts Ebola, the most likely people to contract Ebola are the people closest to the infected person. Dying from an infectious disease is one thing, dying from an infectious disease knowing you may have infected your family and friends is something else entirely.

Along the Ebola lines, the three week infection cycle is a little misleading from what I read yesterday. The formally identified infection cycle pertains to about 95 to 96 percent of those infected showing symptoms, not 100 percent of those infected showing symptoms within the time period.

As with any statistic this is an average. Taken beyond the extreme, this means the quarantined nurse on the cruise ship, and some of the passengers they have come into contact with one the cruise ship could be on the extreme end, and not show any symptoms of Ebola for a period thought to be up to forty days.

Ebola is not something we need accept as a part of life. Ebola does not need to be in the United States. It doesn’t matter if you live in town a sixteen people in the middle of Montana if an epidemic of Ebola breaks out in America.

As Andy Grove was quoted as saying, “Just because you are paranoid, doesn’t mean they are not out to get you.”

Linux Distro Hopping Dream Page

If you just can’t find enough Linux distributions to try out, or you are bored with what is out there, I found the crown jewel of choices! It resides at Distrowatch under the related links section.

There are enough Linux distros that have not been reviewed or made it into the top 100 of the Distrowatch main page to keep you busy for months, even if you try one a day.

And that is just Linux distro’s. There are sub sections of distro links that are not based on any distro, or even Linux, but stand alone.

The Distrowatch related link page is:

I do not have any relationship with Distrowatch, but as a reformed distro hopper, this Distrowatch links page reads pure gold if you are a hard core distro hopper!

Caution advised, some of these distributions are not for the feint of heart, and from what I read, some are not so friendly either.

Ebola: You, Me, and the CDC

I am very dissatisfied with the way potential Ebola is being handled at our borders, and in our hospitals. Tuesday CDC director Tom Frieden was quoted as saying.

In hindsight — CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said on Tuesday — the nation’s health protection agency should have stepped in and taken control when the country’s first Ebola case emerged in Dallas.

Not to over react, but if Mr. Frieden was relieved of his position, I would feel the right message was being sent to our officials, both elected and appointed.

Ebola I am certain, may produce an outbreak that will rival the bubonic plague if the world does not get deadly serious about the threat it presents. This is not the flu influenza of the early 1900’s when houses were quarantined and neighborhoods placed off limits.

In 2014, people often work, shop, eat, and visit malls, sports activities, and so on. They travel around the country.They do not live in a four block radius of notification that has been used in Dallas. The CDC is out of touch with the real world, and you and I need to get their attention.

If they are sick, like with Ebola, if they are like me, I would lie to everyone to be able to fly into the United States. Questioning people entering the US about their previous whereabouts is the same as putting on a condom after sex – It is pretty useless.

The White House and the Center for Disease Control are good places to start.


How to Feel Better Each Day

Some months ago, I was given a little cellophane bag of some homemade chocolate rolled into the size and shape of marbles, and coated with powdered cocoa. Trying to describe how good the taste was would take more skill in description than I want to do. I will just say they were great.

I thanked the person that made them, because making anything takes time and money. I  wanted them to know I appreciate how special I felt that they took the time and effort to make those little chocolate balls, package them up and share them with me.

The story could end here, but time has passed. My freezer has packages of meats I purchased intending to use right away. I plan on making a real meal, but time flies, and life moves on, and a hot dog works when your busy. Of course I would not recommend eating as many hot dogs as I do for dinner over the course of time.

Fortunately I find myself with more free time the week, so I want to start using up the meats I have stored in the freezer. Some people do not make the connection, but I do.

Each package of meat in my freezer represents one animal that was killed so I could have meat for dinner. I am respectful enough of this to make use of those meats, so the animals death serves a higher purpose than being displayed in a grocery store and being thrown out on trash day, rotting.

I looked at the pile of frozen meat bricks in my freezer. I had less of a variety than I hoped. I looked at chicken legs, chicken thighs, pieces of chicken, boneless chicken, and more chicken. There were also a few small amounts of ground beef I had placed in baggies planning to make a quick burrito filler via microwave.

So much for shopping creativity. As I pulled out the last brick of frozen chicken, my fingers felt and my ears heard a small cellophane bag I did not remember putting into the freezer. It was hiding in an ice tray covered by a couple of frozen fruit bars.

As I took it out, I thought it was something gone bad. It was a dark brown with some powder on parts of it. I was trying to remember what I had placed in the freezer that was going bad to keep frozen until trash collection day when I would put it in the trash can to be picked up.

Then it dawned me. It was a second package of those precious little chocolate treats, which were hand made. Lucky me, I was given a second package after I raved on about how good those little chocolate treats were.

I had placed them in the freezer because I knew if I kept them in the refrigerator, they would be gone in a single day. They were that good. In that moment, I once again grateful, that someone took the time to collect all the ingredients, make those little chocolate wonders, package them, and share them with me. When I next see the person that made them, I will share this story with them.

Being grateful is not difficult. Being grateful is a simple three part step:

1. Someone does something for you they did not have to do.

2. You take a moment to internalize what is being done for you.

3. You smile and give thanks (feedback) to the person.

Taking time to add gratefulness to your day only takes a few seconds out of your day. Often it can be combined with something you are already doing. You are going out a door, take a moment to hold the door for someone coming in. It is as simple as that.

If you want to take a display of gratefulness to the next level try this. Smile at a stranger and say hello. Smile and say hello to someone who most people normally would not smile and address.

Sure it is easy to smile at a beautiful woman, or a great hunk of man. It also feels good both ways when that smile and salutation are given to someone who you normally would not give a second thought too. Sometimes they are taken by surprise and forget to smile and return your hello, but that is okay. It was a surprise to them.

Paying it forward in a faceless line has its place. Nothing feels better than the gratefulness you receive from someone you acknowledge, smile at and speak to. You have touched someones life directly. You won’t be a faceless someone who did you a favor. You will be that wonderful person who took a few seconds from their day to smile and  say hello.

Which would you really rather receive, a free coffee in the drive through, or the wonderful feeling of smiling and speaking to someone while sharing a brief moment together? I will add, a few pieces of Chocolate definitely help the feelings flowing in both directions.

The Argument; Dis-functionality in Action

I witnessed shameful public argument that took place between a Father and one of his two small Sons. The argument was over whether the boy, about six was going to eat what was ordered for him at dinner, or a hamburger which was not an option.

“I want a hamburger.” argument

“You’re getting a sandwich.”

“I don’t want that, I want to eat a hamburger.”

In this moment, it was clear to me, this little boy was eating more hamburgers than he should be, and the Father should have paused at hearing the boy’s statement. That however was not the case.

“You are going to eat a sandwich.”

“No, I’m not, I want a hamburger.”

I was sure in this moment, the father would utter something sensible.

“No, tell me you are going to eat a sandwich!”

The little boy tightened his lips, and stood his ground. I thought the father would notice the posture change, but the father was now changing the argument into who is in charge or control. Silence for a few seconds.

“Fine, you are at least going to eat the sandwich.”

“No, I don’t want a sandwich, I want a hamburger”

Anyone up to suggesting a different response from the father, like, ‘okay, the next meal will be ______, you can eat then.

“OK then, I want you to eat a sandwich”, Said in a cracking voice because the control freak father was in public and could not hit his son as he wanted. The Mother finally started to notice the argument, but did not intervene.

“I don’t want a sandwich.”

“Tell me you will eat the sandwich”, three or four decibels louder. The father now has the command of everyone in the room. The Mother is visible becoming frightened. The little brother, is becoming agitated, he knows what is coming.

“I don’t want a sandwich.” Now the little boy is hardening himself for what he thinks will happen next.

The father almost slobbering at the mouth with anger, the Mother terrified what’s going to happen will be in public (not what’s going to happen I think, but that it will happen in public) and starts to intervene. The father/husband cuts her off with a look.

“Just say you are going to eat a sandwich”, almost slurred, the anger level has risen so high.

The little boy stands there stiff as a board, saying nothing, looking really scared. He’s at his breaking point. The crowd is becoming concerned, this is not a discussion over dinner between a parent and a child. I am ready to step in as is another couple of people. It has gone too far.

The Mother, speaking through her fear, tells the father to please stop. The little brother says the same thing to the father.

The anger can be seen pulsing through the father. He is consumed by it. He wants to hit his son I am sure, or worse.

After a very quiet ten or so seconds as the father stares at his son, and tries to control his angers, he spits out, “Sit in your chair, and shut up.”

I felt bad for the boy, and his mother after they got behind closed doors. I felt sure a beating was coming.

The only question left, is will father beat one of them so badly they are hospitalized, or will his blood pressure go so high he will have a stroke first. I hope for the latter. I wish there was a way to prevent for former, but I am sure private beatings are already the norm in that families house.

If this post sounds like you or someone in your family, tell someone, and go find or ask for help. These situations never end well for anyone.

Learn or Improve Your Chess Using This Great Program

If you use Windows and play chess, you may be aware of a program named LucasChess. If you use Linux and play chess, you are in for a pleasant surprise with LucasChess as it will run in Linux using Wine!

LucasChess is a very nice chess program for those of us that are not out to conquer the chess world. It has an amazing number of engines geared from beginner level, to as high as you want to go. The beginning levels are mostly geared towards children as the program opponents are different animals.

For those of use who have no chess pride, the beginning levels are a perfect companion to learn our way around the chess board and practice moving the pieces. For those a little more comfortable with chess, there are options to play against any of the remaining chess engines.

The first level at least has a second chess engine that acts like a tutor or chess coach. The chess tutor is unique to me at least in three ways. When you make a move, the chess tutor evaluates your move. If your move is not optimal, a screen comes up showing you the best move, your move, and the move the opponent thought you may make.

There is still some fog, for myself at least as to why some moves are so good, but a few of the recommended moves make sense as I compare my move to a more optimal move. This function alone make LucasChess one very good chess program for most casual players.

Using LucasChess with Windows or Linux, it is best, imo,to download and use the portable version and not the install version. The portable version can be ran from a usb stick, maybe cd rom, or the hard drive. When a new version of LucasChess is released, it is a small matter to download and overwrite the old version.

One catch with LucasChess with Linux is you need to install Wine. Wine if you are not familiar with it, is sort of Windows emulator. Many programs that run in Windows may be able to run in wine.

Installing Wine is a simple enough matter. Wine should be in most repositories. I am not familiar with wine other than it exists, and I am able to run both Wine and LucasChess.

I made a directory in my home directory (myhome) named LucasChess. Inside the directory LucasChess I extracted the downloaded files to.

There may be an easier way to run Wine, as I am a Wine neophyte, but I start Wine and LucasChess from the terminal with the command:

wine /home/myhome/LucasChess/Lucas.exe

If you are not familiar with the command line, I am telling the computer to run Wine and LucasChess from the home/myhome/LucasChess/ directory with the command Lucas.exe in the directory LucasChess.

If you use Windows or Linux, and want to use one of the best chess programs out there for casual player, give LucasChess a try. Lucas Chess hangs and crashes occasionally for me using Linux and Wine, but it is a simple matter to start the program again.

As I am not on the road to Master Chess play, so it doesn’t matter if I lose a game partially played or not when LucasChess locks up. What I receive from LucasChess more than makes up for an occasional crash.

Here is the url for LucasChess:

Hello Fellow Aliens, Anyone For Coffee?

What if the Aliens are not coming? What if we are the oldest species in this galaxy? What if we are the oldest species still alive anywhere? I think it is an interesting thought.

Some day we are going to have manned explorations going to other solar systems. It will not be in the near future, but we are gearing up for that time in our future. We’ve been the to the moon, and we are fairly sure we can keep ourselves alive for some time on another planet.

We have been sending out radio wave and other signals for around a century now. Most of them unintentional, but what goes through the air, leaves our planet, and goes until the signal fizzles out. That may be a relatively short distance depending on how many asteroids, meteors, and planets, and all around space dust and debris are stopping the signal.

What happens when we are able to go far enough that we are going to enter the atmosphere of a planet that we have know holds life? What position will we take when we arrive? Will we sit out there on the edges of space, taking a few months to years to determine whether we will land or not?

If and when we do land, how will we act? Will we be the same as the explorers that sailed around the earth in days gone past? Be nice to the natives until you discover something precious and then start exploitive measures to make it yours?

Perhaps we will ask for a little land and promise we won’t want more. Acting like we are settling the old west. Be neighborly for a few years and then start breaking treaties, expanding our holdings.

Different but the same, what if we discover creatures we can control, which have not developed or lack technology to hold their own against us. If they have valuable resources we want, will we enslave them? Will we make them work for us, while giving them nothing in return?

Perhaps the biggest question will be, do we want to find what we think is intelligent  life on another planet? What if we discover a planet that has intelligent life on it? What if that life form is more advanced than us, and just as aggressive? If we show up there, they might want to show up here?

For now, we are likely safe. It is doubtful that our signal noise into space is going to get anywhere where anything that cares will hear and decode it. That leaves us with planets that we may be able to live on. With or without high tech support.

After some generations, we will be asking these same questions about any planets we manage to inhabit. The later generations of those planets will be asking the same questions about Earth, that we are now contemplating as we reach out into space.

That is if we have not gone so far that insects will be taking over as the most intelligent species on Earth in a century or so. It is fun to contemplate, what our relationship with far away planets will be. It is not so much fun to wonder if we have reached the tipping point of our own existence. Earth will still be around after we are gone.

Would we be better off trying not to exterminate ourselves before we have a real chance of going somewhere else? It is unfortunate, but currently we are not good world neighbors, and good caretakers of our own planet. How can we expect to correctly answer questions about inhabiting another planet, with or without a life form near our own level of intelligence.

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…