"When faced with a problem you do not understand,
do any part of it you do understand; then look at it again."
~(Robert A. Heinlein - "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress")

About to comment here for the very first time?
Check Where'd my Comment go?!!! to avoid losing it.
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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Shaking our tree.

- 04 Oct 1957 - SPUTNIK!!!

This little dingbat scared the Hell out of many of us then ...
from citizenship typepad.com

Nothing but a polished metal sphere of 585 mm (23 inches) diameter with a mass of 83.6 kilograms (184 lb) and carrying only a radio transmitter, it definitely got our attention.

THEY got there FIRST! Oh, Man!!!

You see, this was the thrilling days of yesteryear when the Soviet Union was ruled by Nikita "We will bury you" Khrushchev who, just the year before, had sent columns of tanks into Hungary to crush a rebellion there (just his way of stating "THAT is a NO-NO!").

The days of "Duck and cover" drills in public schools (not at all insane; if a nuke hit several miles away instead of on top of you, that could make the difference between surviving versus being shredded by glass blown in by the shock wave if all you did was just stand there and gawk at the explosion. Nukes are powerful, but not infinitely powerful. They can be survived, and have been. See reports of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for hard evidence. (Although, in an essay on civil defense, Robert A. Heinlein advocated situational awareness (paying attention to what's going on in the world) and summed up surviving the bomb in seven words: "Don't be there, when it goes off!" ))

That innocent looking thing was placed into orbit by ...
from on6wj-sputnik.blogspot.com

... the R-7 launcher (for a long time referred to as T-3), which evolved from an ICBM whose primary purpose was to transport a thermonuclear bomb from Point A (somewhere in the Soviet Union) to Point B (somewhere in the USA).

The local newspapers ...
San Antonio Light, 05 Oct 1957 - from newspaperarchive.com

... published times of when to see it in the morning or evening, when it would be brightly lit by the sun.

To read or hear about the Soviets (listening to the radio when they were stomping on the rebellion in Hungary was heart-wrenching) while they were on the other side of the world was bad enough, but a bit abstract.

To walk out into your back yard and actually see this bright little silver dot in the sky slowly moving overhead, and realizing there they are;  well, that's a whole 'nother story.

(Originally published  1239 CST,  03 OCT 2012)
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Sunday, November 05, 2017

One last thing to DO ...

Since what is coming is INEVITABLE, friends and acquaintances desrve to know WHAT made it so, and to understand that there was NOTHING they could have done to prevent it.

SO, I'll try to have a post to publish when the time comes.
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Friday, September 08, 2017

I have been BLESSED, ...

... with SO MANY FRIENDS. :-)

Thank you;  ALL of you.
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Friday, July 28, 2017

First surgery - results ...

On Wednesday morning, 26 JUL 2017, I took a taxi to the Michael DeBakey Veterans Hospital for a 7 AM appointment with the eye-sugeon.

This was for surgery to my left eye (the worst one), to remove the cataracts, and to insert a tube to help with drainage (to reduce pressure in the eye).

Because I would need some attention for the next 24 hours, and there was NO ONE to provide it, I stayed overnight. Had to sleep with an eye-patch taped on, to avoid injury to the eye.

When the patch was removed, I really couldn't see ANY difference in vision with that eye. The surgeon had warned me that could be the case, but felt the surgery was necessary.

When asked if I felt any pain or irritation, I mentioned feeling something between my eye and the lower eyelid. He said I was probably feeling some of the stitching. STITCHING on an EYEBALL!!!  Trying to IMAGINE that.  Perhaps I SHOULDN'T. :-)

He gave me a steel patch (with holes like a pepper shaker) ...

... to tape over my left eye before going to bed. This will be for a week.

He also gave me still MORE eye drops. I've been taking three types of drops, to control the pressure in both eyes.  I'll continue with those, but NOW for the right eye only.  The left gets three NEW types, for the next four weeks, to control any inflammation resulting from the surgery. SIX types to keep track of.  Does THAT sound like FUN?  :-)

I see him again, on Thursday, 03 AUG 2017, for a follow-up check.

They tell me it could be six to eight weeks before surgery to the right eye. Dr. Morris (the eye surgeon) is confident of more improvement with THAT eye, as its optic nerve damage is far less.

We shall see. :-)
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Saturday, July 01, 2017

Selfie taken in 2009

I STILL look like this (or WOULD, with a decent haircut);  someone who takes himself WAY too seriously.  I'll try to update this evening, less gloomy than I've been lately.  ;-)

Saturday, May 06, 2017

"The COWARD dies a THOUSAND deaths, ...

... the BRAVE man dies but ONCE."
(Variations attributed to Shakespeare AND Hemingway)

Dear God. I wish I WAS a BRAVE man.

WHAT brought THIS on?

I have faced SO MANY fears in my life.  But, THIS one may FINISH me.

I fear that I may be slowly going BLIND.

For some time now, I've had spells of cloudy vision, that would clear up after awhile. But, they are lasting longer and longer. Bright sunlight makes things VERY difficult.

Should I see somebody about this? You BETCHA. BUT, my experience with doctors and clinics is that, before I can get past the receptionist, THIS question arises, "And HOW will you PAY for this, Mr. Gordon?". The ANSWER, "I CAN'T." is GUARANTEED to be a problem.

I'm fairly certain that a proper diagnosis will cost hundreds of dollars, and treatment (if there IS any) probably THOUSANDS.

And THEN, there is THIS problem with the car, mentioned in THIS previous post ...
##############################################################
Could have been KILLED today ...
... but, I lucked out and WASN'T.

At around 5 PM, today (Thursday, 06 APR 2017, I decided to take a hike to Kroger's, to get some groceries. That's about half a mile from my apartment. I can barely walk; lower back pain interfering with balance, and the sun was directly in my eyes a lot of the time, making it difficult to read the terrain on which I was walking. Less than a hundred yards from my apartment, I tripped and fell while crossing a street, and a car, making a fast turn, barely managed to stop in time.

A couple of people got out of their cars and helped to get up.  Didn't break anything;  just scraped my hands, my left knee has a hell of a bruise, and it ripped part of the left leg of my slacks. Noticing that I was trying to continue on my way (I STILL needed groceries). the one who nearly killed me was nice enough to give me a ride there and back.  (Sadly, it was a GUY this time, instead of the nice LADY who helped me when she noticed me struggling with the walk, several yeas ago. :-).

So, WHY IN HELL was I trying to WALK there?

Thursday, a week ago, I started to drive somewhere, and the automatic transmission, on my 2000 Honda Civic, began slipping and jerking when shifting, and the "Check Engine" light came on.  The next day, I had AAA take the car over to A+ Transmission Specialists. They have a fairly comprehensive set of electronic and driving tests they will do for no charge.

On Monday (03 APR 2017) I learned from them that pressure drops, in the transmission, were causing the shifting problems, but to determine the cause of those drops, they would need to completely disassemble the transmission (for $395.00), and (depending on what they find) I could be looking at a total from $1500.00 to $2500.00.

At the moment, there is absolutely NO WAY I can handle THAT.  So I got AAA to bring the car home.  I am without transportation, for the foreseeable future.  If I CANNOT get the car fixed, I can NEVER afford to get another one.  my current situation will be THE REST OF MY LIFE..

I STILL have the PayPal  "Medical Donation" button near the top of the left column on this page,
 in hope of help.

Alternatively, a check can be mailed to
 Paul Gordon
 3433 West Dallas St, Apt. 1102
 Houston, Texas 77019

 Email: gordpnp@airmail.net

If you CAN help a bit, Thank you.

In earlier posts, I mentioned the possibility of going for Chapter 7 bankruptcy to help with my financial problems.  After long consideration (and research) I have taken THAT off the table, concluding that, my current circumstances being so different from the time I exercised that option in 2000, THIS time the end result would most likely be a do-it-yourself .44 caliber lobotomy.

The only REAL possibility I can see is to TRY and get myself into shape to be able to get (and be able to DO) the extra hours I so desperately need.

Today's incident has made me decide to make a note or card, listing several of you (names and telephone numbers) as people to notifiy if something final happens to me.  I should have it double laminated, so if it gets covered in blood, that can be wiped off so it can be read.

I hope some of you will KEEP the email you received about this, and if YOU get a call, you can haul out that email, edit the subject line and the content, and pass the news along using "Reply to all".

Thank you.

##############################################################

Put together, I'm looking at THOUSANDS of dollars worth of help that I desperately need.

HOW can I POSSIBLY ask this of you? The plain truth is that I am a very poor investment right now, as it will be a miracle if I'm not DEAD before mid-summer, probably at my own hand.

Right now, all I see in front of me is DEATH.

Kinda DEPRESSING.  :(
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Friday, February 03, 2017

Dead Man Switch ...

... in case something happens to me.

I see at least THREE ways that the financial situation described in "Abyss" can KILL me; two of which are ...

a) Heart failure or stroke, from tension (of which there is a LOT). I have had blood pressure issues as far back as 1984, when I was suffering from flu and a visit to the Davis Clinic (in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan) resulted in Dr. Jennifer Kozar declaring, "To HELL with your flu; your BLOOD PRESSURE is in the STROKE range". Well, she DID get my attention, and I've dealt with THAT until my IT job was outsourced in 2004 and I went into early retirement; doctors and prescriptions becoming luxuries I could no longer afford.

b) Accident, caused by near constant worry dominating my attention.

The "Dead Man Switch" is a mechanism for AUTOMATIC action if I don't PREVENT it.

I can write a blog post ("THIS is probably what KILLED me"), detailing the circumstances that most likely led to my demise, and set it to be published two weeks later.

I can also write a notification email, to the 20 or 30 people to whom I normally tell about new posts, and set IT for two weeks later.

THIS way, when the time comes, it wont matter if my computer is online or even working; my little bombs are ALREADY on commercial servers that are backed up and maintaind by competent IT staff. They WILL go off, UNLESS I intervene.

Each week, I can log on to update, reschedule release another week down the line, or cancel if I no longer deel the need for this.

If I CANNOT log on, bacause of computer problems or whatever, I have a solid week before detonation to deal with it. If I can't fix the problem, I can go to a branch library and use one of their computers.

I think THAT will work.

Since few people ever bother checking links to other posts, what follows is the "Abyss" post, in it's entirety. It's what this situation is all about.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Abyss ... - UPDATE - 20 SEP 2016
... to be close enough to gaze down into it, without leaning forward, is NOT a  good feeling.



It's been awhile since I posted anything new on this blog. I've got a LOT on my plate, financially.

You may have noticed that I've just restored the PayPal  "Medical Donation" button near the top of the left column on this page. I've had that button up a couple of times before.

In mid 2013, I tripped and fell in my apartment, catching my right arm on a table and broke the humerus bone near my shoulder. That cost me two months of lost work (and the pay), and loaded  me with about $6,000.00 worth of hospital bills that I paid on, a little bit at a time.

In early 2015, my car began experiencing major problems, rendering it undriveable, and I had to walk (with difficulty because of lower back pain) and ride the bus. I was planning on using an expected tax refund to get it fixed. BUT, on the Memorial Day weekend, I slipped in some mud at a bus stop, fell HARD, and fractured my right ankle and tibia. ANOTHER lost couple of months and several  thousands of dollars MORE in hospital bills.

My income is early retirement Social Security (which did NOT increase a single penny this year), and the meager earnings as a part-time grocery cashier. I'm getting FEWER hours because my age and pain makes it almost impossible to keep up with other cashiers maybe a third my age. This affects my productivity, which in turn affects how many hours I get scheduled.  Consequently, my income is going DOWN, while everything else is going UP.

I used to say that I bleed financially when I get fewer than 20 hours per week. Now, 25 is a more
accurate figure.

The bleeding has reached a CRISIS point, where, in a few weeks, I  may have to refrain payments on
some of my accounts, at which point things will REALLY HIT THE FAN.

I think the sanest option for me is to clear the decks with Chapter 7. I have an absolutely CRUSHING  load of credit card debt, built up over YEARS, and it is literally KILLING me. Disposing of it will NOT put me into LUXURY, but elimination of interest payments on those accounts will at least permit me to LIVE.

I figure it will take me about a month to get ready to file (LOTS to do, including the MOTHER OF ALL PAPERWORK).

From what I've researched, the lawyer fees, and filing fees could run somewhere from twelve to
fifteen hundred dollars. I'm damn near BROKE at present. And, I suspect that an attorney who
doesn't insist on HIS fee up front is probably NOT someone you would trust with this.

SO, I've restored that button (PayPal) in hope of help. Alternatively, a check can be mailed to
 Paul Gordon
 3433 West Dallas St, Apt. 1102
 Houston, Texas 77019

 Email: gordpnp@airmail.net

I'm NOT really expecting much; I know most of you have problems of your own.

But, if you CAN help a bit, Thank you.

I'm asking for donations to help me go bamkrupt.

If THAT doesn't redefine IRONY, I don't know WHAT will.  :-)

UPDATE - 1750 CDT 20 SEP 2016 - Well, it's been two weeks now, and my plea for help has resulted in three donation; two via PayPal and one very nice check. Unfortunately, I'm nowhere NEAR ready to deal with the fees for Chapter 7.

To JP, MM, and AK: Your donations have pushed doomsday  a couple of months further down the road, and my gratitude is inexpressible.

Thank you.
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(Originally posted 0953 CST 14 OCT 2016)

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