Sunday, August 31, 2014

Life Insurance

I have been watching Forensic Files on HLN and I am imptrssrf hoe many of the cases involve murders to collect life insurance.  It is hard to believe that you would expect to get away with a murder with such an obvious motive involved.

Amusing Who Is Giving This Warning

From August 30, 2014 Yahoo News:
Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) (AFP) - King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has warned that the West will be the next target of the jihadists sweeping through Syria and Iraq, unless there is "rapid" action.

"If we ignore them, I am sure they will reach Europe in a month and America in another month," he said in remarks quoted on Saturday by Asharq al-Awsat daily and Saudi-backed Al-Arabiya television station.

"Terrorism knows no border and its danger could affect several countries outside the Middle East," said the king who was speaking at a welcoming on Friday for new ambassadors, including a new envoy from Saudi ally the United States.
 I recently read Lawrenxce Wright's The Looming Tower a history of how the rise of Islamic fundamentalism created al-Qeda and 9;11  The Saudi royal family's attempts to maintain its position while living far at variance from Islam plays a significant role in funding Islasmist expansion across  the Western world..  Wright also tells some horrifying storirs.  At one point the Egyptian secret police needed an informant inside the Muslim Brotherhood, and used a technique that while effective is abhorrent and explains how extreme Islamist reactions have been:: they kidnapped a nephew of one of the leaders of the IB, drugged him, then raped him while photographing the rape and used the pictures to blackmail him into spying on the IB.

Would You Admit This Level of Ignorance From A Population You Want Voting

From the August 30, 2014 New Yprk Times:
In this small city, which is two-thirds African-American but has mostly white elected leaders, only 12 percent of registered voters took part in the last municipal election, and political experts say black turnout was very likely lower. But now, in the wake of the killing of Mr. Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, by a white Ferguson police officer, there is a new focus on promoting the power of the vote, an attempt to revive one of the keystones of the civil rights movement.
“A lot of people just didn’t realize that the people who impact their lives every day are directly elected,” said Shiron Hagens, 41, of St. Louis, who is not part of any formal group but has spent several days registering voters in Ferguson with her mother and has pledged to come back here each Saturday. “The prosecutor — he’s elected. People didn’t know that. The City Council — they’re elected. These are the sorts of people who make decisions about hiring police chiefs. People didn’t know.”

Don't Cry For The Polar Bears

From the August 30, 2014 Daily Mal:

Myth of arctic meltdown: Stunning satellite images show summer ice cap is thicker and covers 1.7million square kilometres MORE than 2 years ago...despite Al Gore's prediction it would be ICE-FREE by now

The Kind of StoriesThat Bring Tears To Your Eyes

While learning to walk my physical therapist Katie mentioned a medical missionary trip she had done to Papua New Guinea.  She explained that at one point, she had felt a little unsure why she was there, but there was a 13-year-old girl in one of these villages who had taken a 35 foot falll out of a tree and apparently suffered a spinal cord injury, with significant paralysis.  For Katie who specializes in rehab, this gave her something important to do, hekping this girl ti get back her ability to walk. 

Going to Papua New Guinea as a medical missionary,is real heroism.

exhausted. Depressed.

I am not getting restorative sleep.  How can you in a  hospital?  I asked for a sleeping pil  to help me sleep better, but the doctor is concerned about addiction.  Last night we made a second attempt with a CPAP mask, and this one (which only covereed my nose ) worked better thn the previous one, I ended up sleeping almost as well as I sleep at home with a BreatheRight strip.  Restorative sleep is really essential after a stroke, as the braiex  tries to rewire itself.  And the various therapies I go through are physically exhausting.

I am now able to flex my right wrist,and just the faintest signs of right hand motion are appearing.  I want to go home.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

applying for social security disability online

Quite a bit less painful than I expected, and paperwoej from SSA in the mail  shows that the process is under way.  Talking to a disability attorney gives me confidence that this is going to be approved.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


The physical therapist says my right arm is rapidlydeveloping both mobility and strength.  I can move upper arm muscles. my wrist and some finger.

This Is Cruel

Travel Channel running a show called Burrito Paradise highlighting local burrito restaurants around the U.S. Boy would  love a chilie colorado burrito right now.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Last Sailing Ship Battle During World War II

A  reader brought to my attention this news coverage of what appears to be the last battle betwen sailing ships just after the end of World War II.  U.S military personel commandeered and armed  a couple of Chinese junks for transport, and ran into another junk commandeered by Japanese Naval officers.

The Microsoft Login Problem

My guess is that whatever problem I am seeing is specific to my environment or W8 victims would be screaming up a storm.  My W8 notebook is talking through the guest wifi here in the hospital.   Like most guest wi-fis, attempts to contact a remote server go to a servver that requires you to approve a conditions, of use page, before allowing the http request through to target server.  I suspect that however W8 is validating the Microsoft login, isn't handling an inability to get a legitimate response from;  I may have to wait until I am home henc.

things Could Be Worse

Not everyone in this rehabilitation unit is here because of strokes.  Quite a number of the other people I see learning to walk and other advanced skills hae stitches that go entirely across their scalps.  One guy's face is a mass of bruises.  I am guessing many of these are vehicle accidents.

Microsoft Login Is Broken

I keep trying to reset the Microsoft Login password through, and it won't do it.  It refuses to recognize the passphrase you have to enter.  I went through the sequence about five times.  And that means Windows 8 won't let me login. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Successfully got around the Microsoft login problem, but I have no idea how.  I downloaded VM Player and installed it.  Now waiting for the Mint Linux ISO download.  It looks like firefox doesn't work with W8.

Microsoft Stock s Shuuld Be Priced at $0 For Windows 8

Windpws 8 reallyt encourages ypu to use your Microsoft login yo vonytol access to the PC.  Vujt iy fpesn't work.  I have reset my password through, and it still doesb't work.  And these instructions for rewsetting the wignin do noy work.  I WISH i HAD MY :INUX DISTRO cd HERE AT THE HOSPIYAL.  mICROSOFT IS TRAQSH.

Maybe Good News

The neurologists says that long-term disability from Social Security should bee a slam dunk after a stroke, it is usually disability claims involving pain that require a big fight.
Start Menu 8 provides much of the W7 start functionality that I need; I still wish I could get C;assicShell to install.


Sittting inside 24 hours a day is making me stir-crazy.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Windows 8: incomprehensible

I have my new laptop and I am regretting the need to reinstall every application, and learn the Windows 8 way of doing things.  Whoever is responsible for the Windows 8 ui deserves underwater stock options for their eff.  rts.  Anytime you devlop a product that is a successor to a wildly successful ptoduct, a change this dramatic is essentially saying, "We don't care about our existing customer base."  (Imagine if Chevrolets stopped having gas gaugues, and replaced steering wheels with tillers instead.  T IS 5HAT RADICAL.  wORSE ANY FEATURES DOM'T WORK. TIRNING ON SPPECH RECOGNITION FAILS ON GETTING THE MCRPHONe WORKING WITH MICROSOFT SOUnf 


Who Do You Think You Are?

I am very impressed wi>th TLC;s Who Do you Think You Are? This series starts with various celebrities (Reba McEntire, Vanessa Williams, Kelly Clarkson) and traces back to various interesting ancestors. It often brings out important parts of American history. Kelly Clarkson;s g-g-g-grandfather survived Andersonville POW camp. After the war, he was elected sheriff. in Ohio, then to the Ohio state senate. where he pushed prohibition, and was defeated at the next election because of it. Vannessa Williams has one of the other inspiring stories, a grandfather who joined the U.S. Army in 1874, and another who was one of the black Tennessee legislators. McEntire's stoey is one that could easily be turned into a liberal morality tale. Her g-g-g-grandfather was a North Carolina slaveowner, and Reba clear;y freaked at the records showing his sale of children. I can see But then she found that her g-g-g-g-g-grandfather had been an indentured servant sent to America because mother died young inEngland, and his father sent the son to America to give him a better shot than he would have had in England. is a sponsor of the series, and is prominently featured in the programs. Not only emotionaally powerful, but a painless way to lern U.S. history. I can see using this in the first week of a UlS. histoey class.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

God/s Not Dead (2014)

The film with a cameo by The Newsboys not the song by that nameby&nbspThe NewsboysHere;s the traulrt
There are some ferocious reviews of it, buy I enjoyed it.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Gov. Perry;d Indictmemt

Gov.Perry's indictment for vetoing funding of the Travis County Public Integrity unit wasbecause the D.A. in charge of it was arrested for DUI. You can see and hear the police car'dashcam of her arrest here.  She pleaded guilty to the DUI charge would not resign. Texans for Public Justice is a lef-wing group that apparently defends the Travis County's' d.a.'S actions because the Public Integrity Unit is the only tool by which the University of Texas dominated county can pursue its leftist agenda.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Bond Yields Up

This is good since retirement retuate fumay be in my immediatere. futu

Tennessee Vly Auth 4.625% 09/15/2060
4.625 09/15/2060 25 111.63700 5 96 4.064

D That's a 4.064% YIELD TO WORST.

The interest on TVA  bonds is exempt from federal income tax.

Bear Stearns Co 5.75% 02/15/2024 Callable
08/15/2014 @ 100.00000

Here'sA 5.413% yield to aumaturity with interestr subject to both federal and state income tax.  Still for ab A3 rated bond, thAat's respectable.

I found some
Idahi Housing Authority boNds with a yi
eild to worst of 5.039%.  This makes retirement look plaqusible especially if I take 6% per year from my 401ks that are invested in equity growth funds.  If you are are permanently disabled, you can withdraw from your 401k before 59 1/2 without tax penalty.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Solar Power

The spreadsheet I shared a few days ago was based on 8.5 cents/KWh summer rates from Idaho Power.  st Looking over the most recent bill,it turns out that above 800 Kw-H, the summer price goes up to 10.5 centsts/KW-h.  Those panels wn when on't require 1.7 years to pay for themselves, but a bit less. First action when I get out of rehab.


My friend Terry Allen Hoover came over to  day to play chess and force synaptic rewiring and brain repair.  I haven't played chess in years and I wasn't great at even whn in preparartioen I participated in sanctioned tournaments when I was in high school.  It definitely stretched my brain.  Remember that if youneed   instruction for a conealed weapon permit,Terry can do that. 

My neurologst says that have about 30% of right leg function back  and perhaps 10% of right arm function back.

The 4-6 weeks in rehab estimate was apparrently a worst likely case estimate for the insurance company.

A Useless Day

It is 9:30 Thursday morning abd the only productive thing I  will get done today issome synapse fdwiring

ring in my brain.  I don;t see how people on the dole can live with themselves.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I Had Hoped To Go Home Soom

The therapists and doctors on my case have decided 3-4 weeks or more in rehab.  This is very frustrating and depresslng because I ha\ve not been home since August 1st.I built that house for my wife but I have developed a very close identity with it and its views.

I even miss the cat, and my wife reports the feeling is mutual, with the cat sleerping on my   sude of thr ned.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

truly weird Dream

It is amazing how your brain cancombine facts with unpleasant sensoey inputs to create something truly strange, and I have a current example. The  combination of please don't get out of bed in your cuurent weakened sttate,. too many sensors attached to my body. and likely some impairment of bladder sensation caused by the stroke means that I seldom get to the urinal bottle in time, and often wake up in a wet hospital bed.  Reading Isabel Fonseca's Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey has combined a lot of ancient European history, current insanity inpost-Hohxa Albania to create what my considered the ultimate  data base nightmare .

The dream last night was that I am a consultant to a Eastern Eoropean government trying to figure out why director of IT keeps getting deluged with urine.  The reason turns out tobe as I discover while sing the SPL debugger in Server Studio,  that instead of a printed report the SPL is umping urine as data, for a report that has not been used by this agency since the Reformation.  I suspect that my colleagues at the Dept. of Correction will only find this dream slightly strang  We often find reports qre beingpoduced that are out of date,providing information that no longer mees current needs,.as well as database triggers wsending data from oned atabase to another without any clear purose  At least the developers don;t have to woorry about diape rash.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Hospital Food

Hospital food has a reputation and not a good one.  The need for blandness drives a lot of this.  But a lot o what is driving my current frustration is the requirement for a dysphagic diet, one that is suited to people who are having trouuble swallowing, as is the case with people recovering from strokes, and my cardiologist has imposed some limitations on fat content.  This means ground meats,likegrilledchickeen breast run through a grinder,  pasta primavera cut into incredibly small pieces.  Breakfast typically is scrambled egg beaters. oatmeal, and apple sauce.  To prevent choking, liqike auids are thickened to nectar viscosity, which means milk almost like ashake, but not as sweet, and orange juice and waterthat     seeml better eaten with spoons than drunk.

When I get out of here, three things are on mylist. Coke over ice, a big juicy burger (the Carl's jR. 1/3 pound Texas barbeque thickburger is high on the list), and proper Mexican dinner at ElL Durango,  my favorite Mexican restaurant inHorshoe Bend.d news

Fhs goo news: now below 91 jg.

The Times When Little Things Matter

To say that sitting in bed in a hospital is boring does not even begin to describe it.  These are the times when you find out how much others love you.  My daughter came by this morning and I was bored out of my wits and she suggested that we get me into a wheelchair and travel around the hospital  grounds. After an examination by my doctor, we received a grounds permit, and away we went.  Fresh air, sunshine, and a change of scenery made a world of difference in my attitude.  My daughter could not remembr afterwardsr when she had wheeled patients around in wheelchairs, but I think it was either at St. Alphonsus or St. Lukes.  She volunteered at one of them shortly after we moved to Boise.

My wife arrived after church, and again  took me out for a wheelchair ride.  I am still some distance from walking.  but it was still nice to get out. My wife has been one of the great joys of this horrible experience. She has been here to hold  my hand, and more practically massage my right leg and arm, trying to wake up neural connections between those limbs and my brain.

Long-Term Disabled?

I am finding nyself wpnderingigdisabilityqualifirs as a disailbility, this indircates that SSme A requires more than just a stroke. My guess is  that they would conclude that because I have taught at the college kevel, and can still do so, I don't qualify even though teaching college means about 1/5th the  pay of what I used to do.

Theere are clear advantages to disability. including retiring young instead of waiting until I am 80+.  I have read a bir if of  stuff clsimining ythat ou cutrrent di hvisibility system is ngly buased anggainst whites in favor of blacjs, Considering how ferociously racusr our govrtnmrnt has becomr, rgus qould not  be surpeising

very sore in my back

too much time in bed?


Do I feel stupid.  My webcam produces wma output files ,but converting these to mpeg seems beyond me at the moent.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

M Wife, Kids, and even some of the nurses say that Iam getting less slurred in my speec:

Very Appreciative of all the PayPal contributions

Between the deductible and I am not sure exactly what short-term disability pays, these contributions to PayPal do a lot to alleviate short-term financial issues.

just to clarify

Just to clarify. Yesterday, I was moved from the medical care wing to St. Alphonsus RehabilitAation Services. This is the same facility. I am learning again to walk. I have my computer here now, so I won't be quite as bored.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Pay Attention if your doctor is concerned about high Blood Pressure

Hypertension  is a risk factor for stroke; trust me you don't want one, even a mild one.  My speech is badly slurred. I really didn't want a stroke.  I am having to learn to use the right side of my body and it doesn't like it.  The right side muscles are weak, in some cases, voluntary muscles no longer respond to orders.  I can't raise my right arm at all.  I AM  NOW A HUNT AND PECK TYPIST, which is a great indignity for someone who has been a touch typist since I was in the sixth grade.

There are greater indignities. They did not want me trying to walk to the toilet for fear of a fall.  But when you  are deeply asleep, trying to get plugged into the entrance to a male urinal is not easy.

But none of these indignities compare to the use of a bed pan, which these days are made of a hard plastic, not metal.  The nurses mixed up  a "brown cow" (prune juice and milk of magnesia) for me.  Enough said.

St. Alphonsus is a Catholic hospital, performing what has been a traditional Christian duty of giving health care, since the days of the Plague of Justinian.  For Catholics discouraged by the recent scandals,  hold your heads high because of St. Al's.

Jesus is showing.

(typed by Clay; edited by Rhonda)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

I am sorry to report...

Clayton Cramer had a heart attack on Sunday night, August 4th.  While in surgery, to put a stent into a clogged artery, he suffered a stroke.  His right side was affected; he did not suffer any paralysis.

He is mentally alert.  He is just very weak on the right side of his body.  He will be in the hospital a few more days and will be transferred to a rehab facility for about a month. We have a long road ahead of us--but we are confident in Whose Hands he rests.

I won't be checking his eamil--if you must get a hold of me, to relay any messages his way, I am at:

Rhonda Cramer

Friday, August 1, 2014

Talked To My Electrician

This is the guy who wired the house when it was built and installed the backup generator.  He confirms that because the backup generator already has a transfer switch to prevent its output from feeding back into Idaho Power's grid in the event of power failure, we have no need for any additional hardware.  He said to get a 220V inverter so that it can connect to the bus and provide power to all circuits.  That connection is simple and he can do it in an hour or so.

Things to do:

1. Get my roofing guy up to replace a few shingles that were blown away in the last windstorms.

2. Figure out how these mounting brackets work to hold the panels in place.

3. Buy the panels, inverter, cables, and brackets.

4. Install them.

5. Run the power cable down to the panel.

6. Call electrician.

A frustration: there are a lot of 220V inverters ou there, but few of them are 60 Hz, and most seem to be Chinese-made.  That may be the only realistic choice, but when the packaging is written in incompetent English, it doesn't bode well for warranty issues.

Over at Wholesale Solar, I see American-made panels with nominal outputs of 275 watts, priced at $295 (plus shipping, which is not going to be trivial).  I also see that the 220V, 60 Hz inverters that they sell typically are 24V/48V input--not 12V.  There are some efficiency advantages to using higher voltage solar panels.  But these are expensive inverters, primarily because they are very high capacity.  I really need something like 500W.

UPDATE: And here's something unexpected: solar panel and microinverter combined so that you have a 225W 240VAC output.  Total Harmonic Distortion advertised as below 5%, so pure sine wave.  These are $466.50 each, so roughly equivalent in price to the 400W kit that I saw on Amazon.  Another attractive aspect is that each panel is separate.  You could buy one this month, install it, plug it in, do the same thing next month, and repeat, without worrying about obsoleting inverters.  This appears to be the same panel at $409 each.

UPDATE 2: The downside of the combined unit is that if I wanted to set up a battery array at some point to store electricity for night or long winter periods, I would then to have convert the 240VAC output back to 12VDC, store it, then have an inverter to convert it back.  That would be very inefficient.  Of course, if Idaho Power goes away and I am relying on a battery bank for power, then only having electricity a few hours a day would be the least of my concerns.

"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends."

One of the American medical missionaries in Liberia who has been infected with Ebola has applied John 15:13.  From July 31, 2014 ABC News:
An "experimental serum" to treat the virus arrived for the two infected Americans, but there was only enough for one person, according to Samaritan’s Purse.
Dr. Kent Brantly, who noticed his Ebola symptoms and quarantined himself last week, offered the dose to the other infected American, missionary Nancy Writebol.

Not For Children Under Three

I saw this item on with the warning
WARNING:CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
How many parents are going to order tritium pistol sights for their toddlers?