Unkaputing my Kaput Computer

Suffice it to say you don’t need anything Microsoft to have a perfectly wonderful PC.

My poor computer, running the Linuxmint operating system, cool though it is with it’s huge RAM and 2.5 terabytes of storage, needs servicing.
Oh don’t have me rant about how I seriously dislike having to spend actual money to have virus protection on a Windows machine, or actual money for the operating system itself. Or that Windows is not the operating system on those devices anyway. It’s still MSDOS with an interface layer so you don’t have to use the command prompt directly like it was before Windows came along. But I digress. I’ve been ranting. Suffice it to say you don’t need anything Microsoft to have a perfectly wonderful PC.
My computer was built by us assembling the parts, such as the tower, the motherboard, disk drives, fans, etc. It was a blank machine with no OS, and I installed the easiest and best operating system on it, Linuxmint, built on top of Ubuntu. Still works, but the DVD writer is kaput. And it’s dirty inside.
Time to get it serviced. I’ll pay someone. Too much for me to bother with personally anymore.

IoT Headache

When my gadgets work together, my own mini IoT, it’s super. When they don’t, like they didn’t this morning, it’s frustrating. Electronic gadget interfaces can be a cinch or a headache. Today it’s a headache.

Irksome Protests

Yeah, I’m concerned about the future of the world during a Trump presidency, but I voted and my candidate lost. Did you vote?
Fine well and dandy to protest but obviously someone dropped the ball, didn’t they and now he’s in charge of the Executive Office. 
Voting for someone because you don’t like the other candidate doesn’t inspire people. As a family member told me. “I’m not voting because the lesser of two evils is still evil.”
The core supporters for Obama didn’t turn out in big numbers like the disgruntled lower middle class did.
So to some extent the protests irk me. Too late too little. 

Irrational Situational Stress

That’s me. Not always rational. Situational stress the doctor calls it. Drives my blood pressure up for days.
People tell me to calm down. No one in the history of mankind  (somewhat longer than 6,000 years) has ever calmed down by being told to calm down.
Besides, physically and verbally I’m calm. I’m not like running around and talking excitedly. You wouldn’t know it if you saw me. Not always but today I am. 
Just sharing a few thoughts. 

Annihilating the Truth

“The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.” –Garry Kasparov, Chairman of the Human Rights Foundation, Visiting Fellow at Oxford Martin, Author, speaker, 13th World Chess Champion

The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.

So says Garry Kasparov, Chairman of the Human Rights Foundation, Visiting Fellow at Oxford Martin. Author, speaker, 13th World Chess Champion
George Orwell, author of the disturbing book, 1984, said:

The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.

We are really entering Orwellian times filled with doublespeak and “alternative facts.”

Metaphysically Speaking

When I was a young boy, my Grandma Boyd passed away and my father became very sad. I asked him why she had died and he told me everybody has to die, which frightened me. I asked him what happens to us after death and he told me after death everything just stops and we are no more. A black abyss of nothingness. The mere conceptualization of it made me shudder. I spent hours trying to understand what it would be like.
My father wasn’t religious.
Pessimistic view aside, the very nature of life is the will to survive, or as Charles Darwin called it, the survival of the fittest. It’s genetically built into our DNA. No one wants to die.

Seeking Rationality

No one, of course, except those that choose to die either by self or medically assisted suicide. Those exceptions excluded, even an insect tries to avoid death. Go and swat a fly and it wants to buzz away. Survival is what it’s all about. It’s what drives both evolution and religion.
So let’s take a rational look at death, scientifically and metaphysically.
At the dog park. My dog has jumped out of the car, charged through the gates and is happily running around in a big field. She’s enjoying life! It’s cold out, freezing cold. I live in the North Texas Panhandle where it sometimes snows. But the dog and I are enjoying the park.
Except for me and Brandi the dog, I’m alone out here. Of course I have a loving wife, a brother who checks in with me from time to time, and some casual friends at work. I have hundreds of Facebook friends. I’m sure they’ll all come to my funeral! We all have our support groups. We surround ourselves with friends and family. Nobody wants to feel alone. But we die alone.
I have no disease I know about looming overhead to kill me except my age. There might be. I dunno. Yet I’m scared of dying because I know death is inevitable and my age keeps advancing.
I really don’t want death to be the cessation of consciousness, of being, of existence itself. I’d rather be born again, or reincarnated, or go to heaven, or something along those lines. Nobody’s ever sent me a message from the other side to tell me what it’s like. So honestly, I don’t know.
And that’s where faith comes to play. Fear. If you don’t accept Jesus you’re going to hell. If you’re a Hare Krishna you’re going to go to a hellish planet somewhere and be tortured without limits. If you’re a Jehova’s Witness, you won’t get resurrected and remain forever in the grave, kinda like my father’s idea. But if you do good you’re going to have eternal life somewhere, either in heaven, or heaven on Earth, or reincarnated, or in nirvana, or some other such idea.
We choose religion or some kind of faith because we want to live. We want to survive.
People say they have had religious experiences, but could it just be chemicals in the brain, sort of like when someone takes a hallucinogenic drug? In my line of work I happen to know many mentally ill people who see and hear things no one else sees. Could it be like that? Just imagination or delusion or chemical reactions?
Probably not. Schizophrenia is a disease. There’re lots of perfectly healthy religious people out there who don’t suffer from it. Besides coffee and prescriptions, most these folks are pretty much drug free. They don’t take LSD. They collectively sit in their church, synagogue, temple or mosque and pray or talk among themselves or listen to a wise man give a sermon from a holy book like the Bible, Torah, Qur’an, or Bhagavad Gita.
People want to believe.
Science doesn’t claim to have all the answers. They never did. There’s even lots of weird stuff in the universe like dark matter and dark energy that are things they don’t know anything about except they keep the galaxies and universe from flying apart or collapsing in on itself. Evidence of a greater power, of God?
Just don’t be blinded by your faith. Use your own head. Think for yourself. Know what’s really alright to believe and what is not.

Trying to Stay Healthy 

Today I did 200 squats at work. Not all at once, but in sets of 20 or 25 at a time.
Yesterday I managed to do 125 squats, and when I got home my legs felt sore. Heaven knows what my legs will feel like tomorrow morning, but I feel if I keep exercising in this way it will help in my yearly Physical Agility Test which I have to pass to keep my job.
There is also the additional benefit that it actually makes my job easier. These days when I come to a flight of stairs at work I can jog up them or jog down them with no difficulty. A year ago I could not have done that. Just walking up the stairs was an effort. Now I look forward to running up and down the stairs at every opportunity.
I even have a smartwatch which tells me how many steps I take and how much my heart has been active in a day. This is a good infants from me two exercise more.

Trump Excludes Third Branch of Government

On the left the White House website before Donald Trump. On the right the White House website after a federal judge put a stay on Trump’s executive order to ban people from seven countries to enter the United States.
If someone snubs Trump, Trump snubs back. Witness what happened on January 11, 2017 when:

“President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday shut down a CNN reporter who attempted to ask a question at Trump’s first press conference in months,”

according to Business Insider.